" It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. "
Arthur Conan Doyle

Back in the day


Ellen Turner Abducted in Forced Marriage Ploy

At just 15 years of age, Ellen Turner, the eligible daughter of a wealthy English mill owner, caught the attention of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Following his wife's death, he hatched a plan to kidnap and marry Turner, thereby gaining access to her sizeable inheritance. After convincing the mistresses at Turner's boarding school that her father had sent for her, Wakefield abducted the young girl and married her. Turner's family, however, soon had him arrested. What became of Wakefield?




Bonsai, Japanese for "tray planting," refers both to the art of cultivating dwarf trees and to trees grown by this method. Such trees are not naturally miniature—they are kept small with cultivation methods like pruning and tying branches with wire to "train" them. The art originated in China but has been developed primarily by the Japanese. Bonsai may live for a century or more and are passed from generation to generation as valued heirlooms. What harmed many of Japan's bonsai trees in 1923?

Born on a day like today


Rudi Dutschke

Dutschke was an important figure in the Socialist German Student Union and the most prominent spokesperson of the left-wing German student movement of the 1960s, a movement aimed at creating a more democratic society. In 1968, Dutschke survived an assassination attempt, in which a disgruntled anti-communist shot him in the head. Dutschke lived more than a decade before suffering a seizure in the bathtub and drowning on December 24, 1979. How had his shooting disrupted a German newspaper empire?

Last updated on Friday, 7th March 2014

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