" Ignorant men don't know what good they hold in their hands until they've flung it away. "

Back in the day


Thomas Paine Publishes Common Sense

Paine was an Anglo-American political theorist and pamphleteer. He anticipated and helped foment the American Revolution through his powerful writings, most notably the enormously successful pamphlet Common Sense, in which he argued that the colonies had outgrown any need for English domination and should be granted independence. Paine's influence was also strongly felt during the French Revolution, and, despite the fact that he did not speak French, he was elected to what governing body?




Hatching and cross-hatching are artistic techniques in which artists use closely-spaced parallel or crossed lines to create tonal or shading effects in their work. By varying the length, angle, spacing, and thickness of these lines, artists achieve a variety of visual effects. Western artists developed cross-hatching in the Middle Ages, and many 15th-century old master prints contain examples of the technique. Which artist is said to have perfected the techniques in his woodcuts and engravings?

Born on a day like today


Stephen Ambrose

A professor of history and a specialist in the mid-20th century, Ambrose gained fame for his biographies of Eisenhower and Nixon as well as for his bestselling books about World War II, including Citizen Soldiers and D-Day. His works—especially the book Band of Brothers, which served as the basis for a television miniseries of the same name—inspired a renewed interest in the sacrifices of American soldiers. Why, then, have some American veterans criticized the author?

Last updated on Saturday, 10th January 2009

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