" It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream. "
Edgar Allan Poe

Back in the day


Ecuador Gains Independence from Greater Columbia

Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, Ecuador was controlled by the Inca empire. Francisco Pizarro's subordinate, Benalcazar, entered the area in 1533. Not finding the wealth of the mythical El Dorado, he and other conquistadors moved restlessly on, and the region became a colonial backwater. After an abortive independence movement in 1809, the region remained under Spanish control. It was liberated by Antonio Jose de Sucre and was joined to Greater Colombia by what famous revolutionary?



The Mortarboard Cap

The pileus quadratus, a type of Roman skullcap topped with a horizontal square board, has given rise to a number of similar cap styles, among them the biretta worn by the Roman Catholic clergy and the academic mortarboard cap. The academic headgear is embellished with a tassel or liripipe, which may be dyed black, colored to represent the graduate's area of expertise, or matched to a school's colors. According to urban legend, why did some UK universities cease to use the cap?

Born on a day like today


Ole Worm

Ole Worm was a Danish physician and antiquarian who was the personal physician of King Christian IV of Denmark. Worm's chief contributions to medical science were in embryology, and as a natural philosopher, he assembled a vast collection of stuffed and mounted animals, fossils, and other curiosities. A collector of early literature in the Scandinavian languages, he wrote a number of treatises on rune stones and collected texts written in the runic alphabet. What are the Wormian bones?

Last updated on Tuesday, 13th May 2008

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