" Conservative: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Iran Releases 52 American Hostages

On November 4, 1979, Iranian students calling themselves the "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line" seized the US Embassy in Tehran and took 66 of its occupants hostage. Tensions between the US and Iran had intensified following the CIA-backed removal of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, and the students justified the hostage-taking by calling it an act of retaliation for US support of the Shah's totalitarian rule. What was the “Canadian Caper”?




Switzerland's unofficial national flower, Edelweiss, is a perennial alpine plant belonging to the daisy family. The white, woolly, star-shaped bloom grows in rocky limestone areas and high altitudes and is often found in the mountains of Europe and Asia. It is considered a symbol of purity by the Swiss and has been used in traditional folk medicine to fight disease. “Edelweiss,” mistakenly believed by many to be the Austrian national anthem, is a song featured in what popular musical production?

Born on a day like today


Ashikaga Yoshimasa

Yoshimasa, eighth shogun of the Japanese Ashikaga shogunate, began his 24-year reign in 1449. Japan's Higashiyama culture, a tradition inspired by the ideals of Zen Buddhism and the concept of beauty in simplicity, flourished during his reign; and much of what is commonly seen today as traditional Japanese culture—the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and ink painting—developed in this period. In 1489, Yoshimasa built what is today one of the most famous tourist attractions in Kyoto; what is it?

Last updated on Sunday, 20th January 2008

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