" 'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery's the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
"
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day

History

Emperor Yohannes Crowned in Ethiopia

One of the most popular post-Theodorean Emperors, Yohannes IV was the first to receive an imperial coronation in the historic city of Axum in over 200 years. In 1875, when the British refused to stop their Egyptian allies from marching into Ethiopia, he gathered his armies and met the Egyptian force at Gundat, where his strategic use of topography gave him the victory. In 1889, he was wounded by a sniper and died shortly after naming his successor. Yohannes claimed to belong to what dynasty?

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Goliath Beetles

Named after the biblical giant slain by David, goliath beetles are among the largest insects on Earth. Native to Africa, they are found mostly in tropical forests, where they feed primarily on tree sap and fruit. They measure from 2 to 4.3 inches (50–110 mm) long as adults and can reach weights of up 3.5 ounces (100 grams) in the larval stage, though adults are only about half this weight. The heavily armored adults are so large that, when flying, they are said to produce a sound akin to what?

Born on a day like today

Article

Spiridon Louis

Following the decision to revive the Olympic Games at the end of the 19th century, all eyes were on Athens, where the first modern games were held in 1896. Spiridon Louis, a Greek water carrier, won the first Olympic marathon event of the games and instantly became a national hero. During the race, Louis stopped at an inn to drink a glass of wine, but he later overtook his competitors, many of whom had collapsed from exhaustion. Why was the third place finisher disqualified from the race?

Last updated on Tuesday, 12th January 2010

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