" A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. "

Back in the day


Netherlands Becomes First Country to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

In 1997, a Dutch parliamentary commission tasked with investigating the advisability of same-sex unions concluded that same-sex couples should be given the right to enter into civil marriages. Legislation was finalized in late 2000, and at the stroke of midnight on April 1, 2001, four same-sex couples were married by the mayor of Amsterdam, making the Netherlands the first nation to legally recognize same-sex marriages. How many same-sex couples took advantage of the new law in that first year?



Water Memory

The idea that water can retain a "memory" of a substance dissolved in it even after heavy dilution was proposed by French immunologist Jacques Benveniste to explain the alleged therapeutic powers of homeopathic remedies, which are prepared by serially diluting aqueous solutions to such a degree that even a single molecule of the original solute is unlikely to remain in each final preparation. He successfully tested his theory in 1988, but attempts to reproduce his results have failed. Why?

Born on a day like today


Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck was a 19th-century Prussian and German statesman. Under his leadership, Prussia defeated Austria and France, and Germany was united. He was appointed premier in 1862 and became Chancellor of the North German Confederation in 1867. When the second German Empire was formed in 1871, he served as its first Chancellor, gaining almost complete control of foreign and domestic affairs and eventually earning the nickname "Iron Chancellor." What was Bismarck's "Reptiles Fund"?

Last updated on Thursday, 1st April 2010

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