" A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour. "
P. G. Wodehouse

Back in the day


Director Skips Bail and Flees to France

Internationally renowned director Roman Polanski's films are marked by depictions of dramatic, sexually charged situations, alienation, and black humor. Polanski, a Polish-French Holocaust survivor, moved to Hollywood in 1968 to pursue his filmmaking career. Shortly thereafter, his pregnant wife was murdered by the Charles Manson "family." In 1978, he fled to France to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to statutory rape. Polanski recently received an Academy Award for his work on what film?



Change Ringing

Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes." Differing from many other forms of bell ringing in that no attempt is made to produce a conventional melody, change ringing is performed by groups the world over. However, it remains most popular in the setting where its modern form developed during the 17th century: English church towers. Why was church bell ringing prohibited during World War II?

Born on a day like today


Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin, a populist advocate of radical reform, became Russia's first democratically elected president in 1991. Just days after the dissolution of the USSR, Yeltsin embarked on a program of radical economic reform, converting the world's largest socialist planned economy into a market-oriented capitalist one. The skyrocketing prices, heavy taxes, and credit crunch that followed produced a protracted depression that devastated Russia. How, then, did Yeltsin manage to win a second term in 1996?

Last updated on Sunday, 1st February 2009

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