" What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us. "
Oscar Wilde

Back in the day


"Genie" the Feral Child Discovered by California Authorities

One of the worst known cases of child abuse and social isolation in American history is that of "Genie," a girl forced to spend the first 13 years of her life alone in her bedroom, most of the time strapped to a potty chair. She was never spoken to and was apparently beaten if she attempted to speak. By the time she was discovered by authorities, she was nearly muteā€”her vocabulary consisted of about 20 words and a few short phrases. What did experts hope to learn by studying Genie?



Trench Warfare

Although trenches were used in ancient and medieval warfare, they are mainly associated with WWI. Because the introduction of rapid-firing artillery made the infantry charges of earlier wars virtually impossible, opposing sides attacked and defended from sets of trenches dug into the ground in zigzag patterns. The advent of mechanized warfare made it possible to circumvent these defenses, however, and trench warfare was little used in WWII. In what more recent wars was it nevertheless employed?

Born on a day like today


Benjamin Robbins Curtis

Curtis joined the US Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1851 but did not stay long. After dissenting with the court's ruling in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case that upheld slavery and declared African Americans ineligible for full US citizenship, Curtis resigned, becoming the only justice to have resigned from the court over a matter of principle. Curtis returned to his home state of Massachusetts and resumed his law practice, later becoming chief counsel in what high profile case?

Last updated on Monday, 4th November 2013

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