" I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage. "
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Back in the day


"Nessie" Reported for the First Time

More than 700 ft (213 m) deep, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in the UK by volume. This makes it the perfect hiding place for a prehistoric creature—or so believers say. Though the legend of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to at least 565 BCE, modern accounts of "Nessie" date only to 1933, the year a local newspaper began reporting sightings of a fearsome, dragon-like creature in the lake. What natural phenomenon, known as a seiche, may be responsible for some of the sightings?



Polyphasic Sleep

Modern convention dictates that a single, consolidated period of sleep in each 24-hour period is ideal for human adults, but, in fact, early humans were likely polyphasic sleepers, meaning they experienced several sleep-wake cycles daily. Nowadays, the latter sleep pattern is generally reserved for extreme situations. Still, there are those who advocate its regular use as a means of increasing productivity. Which American futurist reportedly spent two years taking just four 30-minute naps a day?

Born on a day like today


Saint Catherine Labouré

Shortly after Labouré joined the Daughters of Charity, a religious order devoted to serving the poor, she reportedly began having visions of the Virgin Mary. In one, she was shown the design for what has come to be known as the Miraculous Medal, now worn by Christians the world over. Her role in the medal's creation was concealed until after her death, so she lived out her life in relative obscurity. In 1947, she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. What invocation appears on the medal?

Last updated on Thursday, 2nd May 2013

More sponsors