" The qualities of a second-rate writer can easily be defined, but a first-rate writer can only be experienced. It is just the thing in him which escapes analysis that makes him first-rate. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Abel Tasman Lands in New Zealand

Dutch seafarer and explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to reach New Zealand. After sighting and taking formal possession of Van Diemen's Land, now known as Tasmania, Tasman and his crew planned to sail north. However, unfavorable winds caused them to turn east and discover the islands of New Zealand. Why did Tasman name the New Zealand bay where his ship anchored Murderers' Bay?



Cyrus the Great

Better known as Cyrus the Great, Cyrus II was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. In around 550 BCE, Cyrus united the kingdoms of Media and Persia, forming the beginnings of an empire that would eventually spread from Egypt to the Indus River and become the largest state the world had yet seen. Because he respected the customs and religions of each part of his empire, Cyrus was often seen as a liberator rather than a conqueror. How does the Bible treat Cyrus?

Born on a day like today


Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, a three-time Academy Award winning director, remains one of the most commercially successful filmmakers in the history of US cinema. Spielberg began his career directing for television, but his major success came when he began directing movies. His 1975 film, Jaws, set a domestic box office record and made him a household name. Spielberg later surpassed this record with the films E.T. and Jurassic Park. What 1993 movie earned him his first Academy Award?

Last updated on Friday, 18th December 2009

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