Today is Winnie the Pooh Day, because it was this day in 1882 that author A.A. Milne was born.

There are other Winnie the Pooh Days, in case you’re wondering.

The first book was published October 14, 1926.

And Pooh’s birthday is August 21, 1921, or at least that’s the character’s birthday.

There was a real Winnie the Bear, and a real Pooh, which was not a bear.


The characters in Milne’s books were based on his son Christopher Robin’s stuffed animals, including a teddy bear that he originally called Edward.

But it got a name change thanks to a real bear named Winnie at the London Zoo.

Winnie was short for Winnipeg; the man who had brought the bear to England was a veterinarian living in Canada, Harry Colebourn.

He’d seen the bear as a cub in White River, Ontario, in 1914, bought it for 20 bucks (!) and named it after his home city.

When Colebourn headed overseas to serve in World War I, he brought Winnie with him, and she ended up in the London Zoo’s new bear enclosure.

The bear was considered so calm and gentle that the zoo actually let kids in to feed it!

Christopher Robin Milne enjoyed visiting Winnie the bear so much that he renamed his stuffed toy Edward after it.

As for the “Pooh” part, that was the name that the Milnes gave to a swan that they visited.

So the character is named for a bear and a swan, though it was definitely more like the bear.

The real Winnie had a sweet tooth; instead of honey her favorite treat was apparently condensed milk.


You might expect the most artistic parts of a school to be in the art room.

But don’t sleep on the artistic side of math class.

In the new book “Do Not Erase: Mathematicians and Their Chalkboards,” photographer Jessica Wynne features images of more than 100 chalkboards by math professors.

There are geometric shapes, representations of equations, all sorts of complex math stuff that looks great even if you don’t know all the math behind it.

The True Story of the Real-Life Winnie-the-Pooh (

90 weird and wonderful facts about Winnie-the-Pooh (CBC)

Beauty on the blackboard: New book captures mathematicians’ chalk experiments (University of Chicago)

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Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr/Creative Commons