The 2005 Banco Central burglary in Fortaleza, Brazil, was one of the largest bank robberies in history. In one weekend, thieves took nearly four tons of uninsured, non-sequential 50-real notes valued at roughly $70 million. The burglars spent three months tunneling to the vault from a rented house two blocks away. Though the police made several arrests in the case, more than $60 million remains missing. Why weren't neighbors suspicious when they saw vanloads of soil being removed from the house?
Back in the day
TenochtitlÃ¡n 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. Spanish conquistador HernÃ¡n CortÃ©s 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 CortÃ©s found on the ruins of TenochtitlÃ¡n?
Born on a day like today
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. His 1837 novel, Year 4338, describes a magnetic telegraph that allows the occupants of far-flung houses to communicate with one another. Odoevsky also wrote tales for children and phantasmagoric stories for adults. With which famous Russian poet did he co-edit the journal Sovremennik?