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For fifteen years from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, it was possible to hop on to a bus in London and travel all the way to Calcutta, India. The journey took fifty days and went through such breathtaking destinations such as the the Caspian Sea coast, the Rhine Valley, the Khyber Pass and the Kabul Gorge. The first London to Calcutta bus service was “The Indiaman” run by Oswald-Joseph Garro Read More »
The term ‘battery’ was first used by Benjamin Franklin in 1749 to describe an apparatus he had designed to produce electricity. Franklin linked together a number of Leyden jar capacitors so that they would hold a stronger charge, and thus more power would be available on discharge. He called the device an ‘electrical battery’, a play on the military term for weapons functioning together. © Read More »
The Texas horned lizard is a hardy creature, but its hardiness might have been overestimated. The Native American legend holds that the rugged species could survive up to 100 years in hibernation. So when a 4-year-old boy named Will Wood caught a horny toad in Eastland County, Texas, one July morning in 1897, his father, Eastland County clerk Ernest E. Wood, decided to use the reptile to test th Read More »
William Hardaker ran a sweet shop in Green Market in Bradford, England. His most popular confectionary was the humbug, a hard boiled sweet made from sugar and gum and flavored with peppermint. The humbug was a favorite among his customers, who took to calling him “Humbug Billy.” Of course, Hardaker didn’t make the sweets himself; he merely sold them. His supplier was Joseph Neal, who made the loz Read More »
During the early years of space flight, animals were frequently flown into space and their bodies examined to investigate the various physiological effects microgravity and space flight might have on them. Most space agencies involved in these experiments chose rats, dogs, and monkeys. The French chose cats. The purpose of these experiments was to study the neurological effects of space travel, a Read More »
On the night of July 31, 1761, a frigate of the French East India Company named Utile, captained by Jean de La Fargue, and carrying a contraband of African slaves ran aground on a small, flat island located about 500 km north of Réunion and about 450 km east of Madagascar. The ship was carrying on its hold some 160 slaves consisting of men, women and children, bound for Mauritius where the slave Read More »
Of all the amphitheaters built by the Romans, the Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater in Rome is the largest of all in dimensions, followed by the amphitheater of Capua, Pozzuoli, and El Djem (already in Tunisia, which is also the largest of Africa). However, it is not the oldest, since that honor belongs to the amphitheater of Capua. Not only that, experts believe that it could even serve as a mo Read More »
On January 26, 1972, the JAT Yugoslav Airlines Flight 367 flying from Stockholm to Belgrade became the target of a terrorist attack. A suitcase bomb tucked inside the baggage compartment of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 aircraft exploded when the airplane was cruising at an altitude of 33,000 feet over East Germany. The explosion tore through the fuselage of the narrow-body jetliner, breaking it Read More »
On a hot August afternoon in 1904, with temperatures hovering above the nineties (32 degree centigrade), thirty-two men dressed largely in white t-shirts and shorts gathered at the newly constructed Francis Olympic Field in St. Louis, Missouri. They were about to take part in an event that would go down in history as the worst marathon ever ran. The 1904 Summer Olympics itself was poorly organiz Read More »
Many monks and hermits go to great lengths to deny themselves of simple pleasures in order to atone their sins and pursue spiritual goals. Some live frugal lives. Some renounce meat and alcohol. Some live in seclusion. Some even go to extreme cases of self-torment such as fasting and self flagellation. And then, there are the pillar-dwellers that became very common during the early days of Christ Read More »
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