" They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. "
Edgar Allan Poe

Back in the day


Thor Heyerdahl Lands in Polynesia

Thor Heyerdahl was a great adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. His passion, however, lay in cultural anthropology and his theory that the first settlers of Polynesia were of South American origin. To support this theory, he and five companions made the crossing from Peru to the Tuamotu Archipelago on a primitive log raft. Heyerdahl describes the voyage in the international bestseller Kon Tiki. What do academics today think of Heyerdahl's theories?



The Kingdom of Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, landlocked, mountainous country in SE Africa. In 1968, Swaziland achieved complete independence, but retained membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. The country is cut by 4 major river systems, which have vast hydroelectric potential and are increasingly used for irrigation. Sugarcane is the country's leading export, but pineapple, citrus fruit, and cotton are also important agricultural exports. Why does Swaziland have the world's lowest life expectancy?

Born on a day like today


Mata Hari

Born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, this Dutch courtesan, dancer, and probable spy went by the stage name Mata Hari. During World War I, she had intimate relationships with many high-ranking French, Russian, and German military officers and government officials. This led to suspicions that she may have been a double agent, in the pay of both France and Germany. On October 15, 1917, she was executed by the French on espionage charges. What does Mata Hari mean in Sanskrit?

Last updated on Tuesday, 7th August 2007

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