" Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory. "
Joseph Conrad

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Lon Nol Ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia

Nol became defense minister and army chief of staff in Norodom Sihanouk's Cambodian government in 1955 and later served as premier under him. In 1970, he led the coup that deposed Sihanouk and assumed control of the government. His unsuccessful attempts at suppressing the Communist Khmer Rouge guerillas plunged the country into civil war, and he ultimately fled the country in 1975. What prompted Nol to resort to the traditional use of "magic sand" as a military defense?

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Kayan Neck Rings

The Kayan are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group known for their unusual tradition of body modification, which consists of coiling lengths of brass around women's necks. The coils are first applied to young girls when they are approximately five years old, and each coil is replaced with a longer one as the weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. Contrary to popular belief, the neck vertebrae are not actually lengthened. Can wearers remove the rings entirely?

Born on a day like today

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Frederik Willem de Klerk

The last state president of South Africa, de Klerk served from 1989 to 1994. He is best known for engineering the end of apartheid, South Africa's racial segregation policy, and beginning the process of drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of "one person, one vote." As president, de Klerk moved quickly to free political prisoners, and by June 1991, he had obtained the repeal of all remaining apartheid laws. With whom did de Klerk share the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize?

Last updated on Wednesday, 18th March 2009

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