" Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


Singapore Established as a Trading Post

Situated along busy shipping routes that connect Europe to China, the Port of Singapore is the world's busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage handled. In 1819, the Sultan of Johore signed a treaty that effectively established Singapore as a trading post and transferred control of the island to the British East India Company. Singapore was made a British crown colony in 1867 and became a self-governing state in 1959. The first records of Singapore's existence refer to the island by what name?



The Hand Cannon

The hand cannon, which dates back to the late 13th century, was the first handheld portable firearm. The origin of the weapon is widely disputed, and a number of groups, including the Arabs, Chinese, Mongols, and Europeans, claim credit for its invention. Though the hand cannon lacked accuracy and was fairly unwieldy, its armor-penetrating capabilities eventually brought the simple weapon to the forefront of European warfare. How were hand cannons fired?

Born on a day like today


Babe Ruth

George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth, was the second player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His ability to hit home runs—at will, according to some—helped turn baseball into the American national pastime in the 1920s and 30s. Arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, two of his records stood for more than 30 years. What is the origin of his nickname, “Babe”?

Last updated on Wednesday, 6th February 2008

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