" Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


Kellogg-Briand Pact Signed

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement between the US and France to renounce war and seek settlement of disputes by peaceful means. It took its name from US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. Sixty other nations ultimately ratified the pact, but it made no provision for measures against aggressors and proved ineffective, especially given the practice of waging undeclared wars in the 1930s. What role did it play in the Nuremberg Trials?



Smeed's Law

First proposed in 1949, Smeed's Law is an empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to motor vehicle registration and country population. According to this law, annually increasing traffic volume ironically leads to a decrease in accidents per vehicle. Though the law was revisited in the 1980s and 90s with data from more than 60 countries supporting its validity, it has been disputed by several scholars. What supposed truth about human psychology did Smeed say the law reveals?

Born on a day like today


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel was an influential German philosopher who developed the Hegelian dialectic, according to which a thesis, such as "being," inevitably generates its antithesis, "not-being." The interaction of the two forms a synthesis, "becoming," which, in turn, becomes a new thesis that generates an antithesis, and so on. He used the dialectic to explain everything from nature to history, interpreting the French Revolution as a thesis that generated its antithesis, known as what period in French history?

Last updated on Thursday, 27th August 2009

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