" A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea. "
Honore de Balzac

Back in the day


Kokichi Mikimoto Obtains First Cultured Pearl

Mikimoto was the son of a Japanese udon shop owner and sold vegetables to support his family; he also invented the cultured pearl. In 1888, he obtained a loan to start a pearl farm. After 5 years and near bankruptcy, he produced the 1st cultivated pearl. It took another 12 years to create the spherical pearls that are indistinguishable from natural ones. In 1899, the first Mikimoto pearl shop was opened in Tokyo, and his empire expanded internationally soon after. At what age did he die?



Hells Angels

The Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle club was formed in Fontana, CA, in 1948; the local chapter remains active, but the club's popularity and membership has since expanded worldwide. The name, taken from the movie Hell's Angels, has come to represent the epitome of 1960s biker counterculture. Members have been known to engage in illegal activities, but the club rejects any criminal responsibility. What unlikely company was recently sued by the club for copyright infringement?

Born on a day like today


Nicolai Gedda

Born in Sweden, Gedda is one of the world's most versatile tenors. He has been featured in hundreds of operas and recitals, and continues to perform well into his 70s. He made his debut at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1952, at the age of 27; at about the same time, he attracted the attention of the conductor Herbert von Karajan, who took him to Italy. Thereafter, he gained international fame, traveling and performing all over the world. How did Gedda go from bank teller to world-famous tenor?

Last updated on Wednesday, 11th July 2007

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