" Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Treaty of Fredrikshamn Signed

Sweden's loss in the Finnish War marked the end of its significance as a monarchical military power in the region and the beginning of constitutional reform there. As part of the terms of the ensuing treaty, the Swedish government was forced to cede about one-third of its easternmost territory to Russia. The territories in question were declared semi-autonomous, but Russian influence continued to be felt there for many years. What islands, called "the fore-posts of Stockholm," did Sweden cede?




One of the few Sanskrit words commonly recognized by non-Hindi speakers, namaste is an Indian gesture, greeting, and parting phrase. Derived from a Sanskrit phrase literally meaning "I bow to you," namaste is universally accepted in India and Nepal by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. When said to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with the hands held together in front of the chest. What is indicated by placing one's hands entirely above the head?

Born on a day like today


Francisco de Quevedo

Quevedo was a Spanish satirist and novelist and one of the great writers of the Spanish Golden Age. A determined opponent of culteranismo—a writing movement of the Baroque period characterized by the use of as many words as possible to convey little meaning or to conceal meaning—Quevedo championed conceptismo, a movement that aimed to convey multiple meanings in as few words as possible. With what culteranismo writer did Quevedo have an ongoing feud?

Last updated on Thursday, 17th September 2009

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