" Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another. "
Robert Louis Stevenson

Back in the day


San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Opens to Traffic

"The Bay Bridge," officially known as The James "Sunny Jim" Rolph Bridge, is a toll bridge that links the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco. With 280,000 vehicles crossing it each day, it is one of the busiest bridges in the US. San Francisco residents first recognized the need for a bridge spanning San Francisco Bay during the California Gold Rush. What self-proclaimed "Emperor of these United States" decreed in the early 1870s that the bridge should be built?




Macabre enough to earn an appearance in two James Bond films, the garrote, a weapon used for strangulation, was used in Rome as early as the first century. The device takes many forms and can be made from a variety of materials, including chain, rope, fabric, wire, or fishing line. Used throughout history and as recently as 1974 in Spain, garrotes were also developed as execution devices. What nation became the last country in the world to abolish the death penalty by garroting in 1990?

Born on a day like today


Auguste Rodin

Rodin was a French sculptor noted for his renderings of the human form. He spent 37 years working on the Gate of Hell, a monumental sculptural group commissioned by the Musée des Arts décoratifs and inspired by Dante's Inferno. The project was never finished, but many of the 186 figures intended for it, including The Thinker, The Three Shades, and The Kiss, were later presented as individual works. Who was Camille Claudel?

Last updated on Wednesday, 12th November 2008

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