" Dragging out life to the last possible second is not living to the best effect. The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat. The best of life...lies nearest to the edge of death. "
H.G. Wells

Back in the day


Niger Gains Independence from France

In 1884-85, the Conference of Berlin placed the territory of Niger within the French sphere of influence. In 1900, Niger was made a military territory within Upper Senegal–Niger, and in 1922 it was constituted a separate colony within French West Africa. National political activity began when Niger received its own assembly under the French constitution of 1946, which established the French Union. Niger achieved full independence on August 3, 1960. Who became the country's first president?



Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a plant whose leaves are used to make a beverage called mate, the national drink of Argentina and Uruguay. Mate is a caffeinated infusion, much like a cross between green tee and coffee, that is prepared by steeping dried leaves in hot water. It is traditionally served in a hollow gourd with a metal straw and is usually enjoyed in a social setting. Uruguay enacted a national law that prohibits drinking mate while performing what other activity?

Born on a day like today


Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia

Friedrich Wilhelm III ruled Prussia from 1797-1840. He was an honest and well-intentioned man, but proved ineffectual as a ruler. Despite attempts at neutrality, he was drawn into the bitter struggle between two of Europe's greatest powers, Napoleon's France and Alexander I's Russia. Defeated by the French in 1806, he allied with Russia, and his troops played an important role in Napoleon's defeat soon after. According to rumor, which other royal was in love with Friedrich's beautiful wife?

Last updated on Sunday, 3rd August 2008

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