" I didn't want to work. It was as simple as that. I distrusted work, disliked it. I thought it was a very bad thing that the human race had unfortunately invented for itself. "
Agatha Christie

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Cortés Conquers Tenochtitlán

Tenochtitlán was the flourishing capital of the Aztec Empire with an estimated population of between 200,000 and 300,000, a unique system of lake agriculture known as chinampas, and a ceremonial precinct that contained a great pyramid sacred to the Aztec war god Huitzilopochtli. Hernán Cortés was routed from the city in 1520, but returned a year later, took the city after a three-month siege, and razed it. What city did Cortés found on the ruins of Tenochtitlán?

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Czech Dream

As their final film-school project, two Czech students, Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, perpetrated a massive hoax—and filmed it. Called Czech Dream, the 2004 documentary follows the pair as they convince a public relations agency to create an advertising campaign—complete with billboards, TV commercials, and a jingle—for the launch of a fake department store. It worked; 3,000 shoppers showed up to an empty field for the grand opening of the “store.” How did the customers react to the ruse?

Born on a day like today

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Vladimir Odoevsky

Odoevsky was a prominent Russian philosopher, writer, music critic, philanthropist, and pedagogue who was recently credited with having predicted "blogging" and the basic principles of the Internet. Written in 1837, his novel, Year 4338, describes a magnetic telegraph that allows the occupants of different houses to communicate. Odoevsky also wrote tales for children and phantasmagoric stories for adults. With which famous Russian poet did he co-edit the journal Sovremennik?

Last updated on Wednesday, 13th August 2008

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