" I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest. "
Alexandre Dumas

Back in the day


Opening of the First Modern Olympic Games

In 1894, after efforts by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin to revive the ancient Greek Olympics, the newly established International Olympic Committee appointed the Greek capital of Athens as the host city for the first modern international Olympic Games. Held between April 6 and 15, 1896, the games drew athletes from 14 countries for several athletic events, including the first modern marathon. Though women were not allowed to compete, one woman protested the day after the marathon by doing what?



Medieval Fortifications

In the thousand years leading up to the Renaissance, developments in the construction and design of defensive fortifications changed warfare. As new tactics, weapons, and siege techniques were created to breach them, fortifications were modified to maintain their effectiveness. Along with walls, moats, and drawbridges, soldiers used measures such as machicolations—openings between a wall and a parapet through which stones and boiling water could be hurled—and killing fields, which were what?

Born on a day like today



Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, a French pioneer photographer and writer. In 1853, Nadar opened a photographic studio that became a favorite meeting place of the Paris intelligentsia, whose faces he captured in natural poses that contrasted with the stiff formality of most portraits of the time. A tireless innovator, he patented the idea of using aerial photographs in mapmaking and surveying, and in 1858 he made the first successful aerial photograph. How did he do it?

Last updated on Tuesday, 6th April 2010

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