" There is no good ... in living in a society where you are merely the equal of everybody else. ... The true pleasure of life is to live with your inferiors. "
William Makepeace Thackeray

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History

The Curse of the Bambino

According to baseball lore, a curse was placed on the Boston Red Sox after Babe Ruth, the "Bambino," was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920. Before the sale, the Red Sox had won 5 World Series titles; the Yankees had never even played in a series. Following the sale, the Yankees went on to win 27 World Series titles. The Red Sox, meanwhile, failed to win another series for more than 8 decades, finally breaking the "curse" in 2004. How did some Red Sox fans attempt to "reverse the curse"?

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Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the world's longest man-made structure, stretching approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 km) along China's northern and northwestern borders. Erected to prevent invasions by northern nomads, it is an amalgamation of many walls built in ancient times and connected by later empires. Averaging a height of 25 feet (7.6 m) and a width of 15 to 30 feet (4.6–9.1 m) at its base, the wall is fortified by watchtowers placed at regular intervals. Can the Great Wall be seen from space?

Born on a day like today

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J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a respected medieval scholar and university professor. The enduring influence of his works, which recount the fictional history of Middle Earth, has earned him recognition as "the father of modern fantasy literature." Recently, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series was adapted for film, and it soon became the world's highest grossing motion picture trilogy. For whom did Tolkien initially write The Hobbit?

Last updated on Sunday, 3rd January 2010

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