" For shameful deeds are taught by shameful deeds. "
Sophocles

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Pasilalinic-Sympathetic Compass Demonstrated

French occultist Jacques Toussaint Benoit's pasilalinic-sympathetic compass was a contraption developed based on his belief that when two snails touch, they create a telepathic bond. His "snail telegraph" contained 24 snails, each associated with an individual letter of the alphabet as well as with a snail counterpart in a second device. One could theoretically transmit a message by touching the snails, eliciting reactions from their counterparts. What happened when he demonstrated his device?

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The Piraeus Lion

The Piraeus Lion is a white marble statue that stood in the ancient Athenian harbor of Piraeus and served as a famous landmark from about 100 CE on. Looted by Venetian naval commander Francesco Morosini in 1687, it is today on display at Italy's Venetian Arsenal. The lion is most notable for the two lengthy runic inscriptions carved on its sides by Scandinavian mercenaries in the 11th century. There have been several attempts to decipher and translate the text, which scholars believe says what?

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Charles Albert of Sardinia

The complex and controversial king of Sardinia-Piedmont from 1831 to 1849, Charles Albert helped inspire the growing drive for Italian independence. In 1848, the spread of revolutionary ideas forced him to grant a constitution. Seeking to lead the liberation of Italy, he went to war with Austria that same year, and again in 1849, but was twice defeated. After abdicating in favor of his son, he went into exile and soon died. Why did Marx call him the "number one enemy of Italian freedom"?

Last updated on Saturday, 2nd October 2010

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