" A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in the day


10,500 Besieged Residents Flee Messolonghi

Messolonghi was a major stronghold of Greek insurgents in the Greek War of Independence. Its inhabitants successfully resisted a siege by forces of the Ottoman Empire in 1822 and 1823 and held out heroically against a second siege from 1825 to 1826, when the Ottomans captured the town. Facing starvation after a year of relentless attacks, the people of Messolonghi—approximately 10,500—finally decided to leave the beleaguered city on the night of April 10, 1826. What happened when they left?



Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite corpse is an exercise in which a collection of words or images is assembled by several participants, each of whom adds to a composition by either following a predetermined sequence—such as adjective-noun-adverb-verb-article-adjective-noun—or by looking at the end of the previous entry. The name of the game is derived from the phrase that French Surrealists created when they first played it in 1925: "Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau," which means what?

Born on a day like today


Samuel Hahnemann

Hahnemann was a German physician who created the form of alternative medicine known as homeopathy. Believing the medicines of his day did more harm than good, Hahnemann was struck by the similarity of the symptoms quinine produced in healthy individuals to those of the disorders it cured. He theorized that "likes are cured by likes" and that drugs known to produce the same symptoms as certain diseases should be used in small doses to treat those diseases. How many languages did Hahnemann speak?

Last updated on Saturday, 10th April 2010

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