" Lord I disbelieve -- help thou my unbelief. "
E. M. Forster

Back in the day


Australia's Last Execution

In the 16 years leading up to the execution of Ronald Ryan for the killing of a guard during a prison break, every single death sentence in Victoria, Australia—35 in all—had been commuted to life in prison. By then, two Australian states had abolished capital punishment for murder, and many in Victoria were under the impression that it had done the same. The decision to carry out Ryan's execution was widely protested. How many of the jurors who had convicted Ryan later petitioned on his behalf?



The Lost Boys of Sudan

Since the 1980s, when the Second Sudanese Civil War broke out, more than 20,000 of the nation's boys have been displaced or orphaned. Most of these "Lost Boys"—separated from their families when government troops attacked villages in southern Sudan—walked for years in search of safety, traveling over a thousand miles to refugee camps. More than half died along the way. Many of the survivors have since been resettled in the US. What happened to Sudan's "Lost Girls"?

Born on a day like today


Elizabeth Blackwell

Blackwell chose to pursue a medical education at a time when doctors were almost exclusively male. Consequently, she was rejected by many medical schools before one in New York accepted her. In 1849, she became the first woman in the US to receive a medical degree, but her struggle did not end there. Barred from practice in most hospitals, she, her sister, and another female doctor founded their own practice and later a women's medical college. How did a joke gone wrong give Blackwell her start?

Last updated on Monday, 3rd February 2014

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