" From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. "
Arthur Conan Doyle

Back in the day


Coronation of Czar Nicholas II

Nicholas II was the last Czar of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland. Ruling until his forced abdication in 1917, he proved unequal to the combined tasks of managing a country in political turmoil and commanding its army in WWI. Bolsheviks executed Nicholas and his family, fearing he would be liberated through a counterrevolutionary advance during the Russian Revolution. What famous mystic was involved in the court's affairs?




A labyrinth is an intricate building of chambers and interconnecting passages often constructed so as to perplex and confuse a person inside. The most celebrated structure of this sort was designed, according to Greek mythology, by the Athenian artisan Daedalus to confine the Minotaur, a monster with a bull's head and a man's body. Theseus, an Athenian hero, entered the beast's labyrinth to slay it. How did he find his way out of the maze after killing the Minotaur?

Born on a day like today


Miles Davis

Rising to prominence with the birth of modern jazz in the mid-1940s, when he was a sideman in Charlie Parker's bebop quintet, Davis became a dominant force in jazz trumpet. He was influential in the development of cool jazz, led many small groups through the 1950s and 60s, and produced a successful blend of jazz and rock music in the 1970s and 80s. His trumpet and flügelhorn styles were warmly lyrical and marked by a brilliant use of mutes. How old was Davis when he began to study music?

Last updated on Monday, 26th May 2008

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