" When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again. "
Charlotte Bronte

Back in the day


Bing Crosby Records "White Christmas," Best-Selling Single of All Time

Composed by legendary songwriter Irving Berlin, "White Christmas" has been recorded by numerous singers. By far, the best known version is performed by Crosby. However, it is not his 1942 recording that American audiences hear endlessly during Christmastime, but rather the re-recording he made in 1947. The song was further popularized by the film of the same name—starring Crosby—released in 1954. How many copies is Crosby's "White Christmas" single estimated to have sold worldwide?



The Cheshire Cat

Known for his distinctive mischievous grin, the Cheshire Cat of Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has had a notable impact on popular culture. Still, despite years of painstaking research, historians have not been able to reach a consensus on what inspired Carroll—who was born in Cheshire—to create the character in the first place. Several church carvings of grinning cats have been variously identified as Carroll's inspiration, but so has what food product?

Born on a day like today


Iannis Xenakis

Xenakis was a Romanian-born French composer, architect, and mathematician. He started out studying engineering and music in Greece but was forced to flee in 1947 when he was denounced as a communist. He moved to Paris and, for the next 12 years, worked with the architect Le Corbusier. In his 30s, he began seriously studying composition with Olivier Messiaen and others and earned acclaim for his use of mathematical models in musical composition. What computerized composition tool did he develop?

Last updated on Thursday, 30th May 2013

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