" To the last, I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


Tragedy at Opening of Liverpool and Manchester Railway

In 1830, festivities were held to mark the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first inter-city passenger railway. Unfortunately, the celebration turned tragic when William Huskisson, the Member of Parliament for Liverpool, got off the train to speak with the Duke of Wellington during a temporary stop and was fatally injured by an oncoming train. He thus became the world's first railway passenger to be killed by a train. How fast did these trains initially travel?



The Tetragrammaton

In the Old Testament, the proper name of God is revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. Known as the Tetragrammaton—Greek for "four-letter word"—it consists of four Hebrew consonants: yod, he, vav, and he. These are variously transliterated as JHVH, JHWH, YHWH, or YHVH. Although contention still exists today, many scholars accept the pronunciation as either "Yahweh" Or "Jehovah." The name is regarded by Jews as ineffable—too sacred to be pronounced. When reading, what substitute is used?

Born on a day like today


Titus Oates

Oates was an Anglican priest whose whole career was marked with intrigue and scandal. In 1678, he invented the story of the Popish Plot, a fictitious Jesuit conspiracy to kill Charles II and place his Catholic brother James—later James II—on the throne. Oates's testimony resulted in a frenzy of anti-Catholic hatred throughout England, and caused more than 30 people to be executed. He was finally convicted of perjury and imprisoned in 1685. Who conspired with Oates to invent the plot?

Last updated on Wednesday, 15th September 2010

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