" He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


First Flight of the Hawker Hurricane

First tested in 1935, the Hawker Hurricane was a British single-seat fighter aircraft powered by a newly designed Rolls-Royce engine. Together with the Spitfire, the Hurricane enabled the Royal Air Force (RAF) to win the Battle of Britain of 1940, accounting for the majority of the RAF's air victories during this period. About 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944, and the aircraft served in all the major theatres of World War II. What was the Hurricane's maximum speed?



Pink River Dolphin

The pink river dolphin, or boto, is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Amazon and Orinoco river systems. It is the largest of the river dolphins but smaller than its marine counterparts and has a longer, narrower snout. According to Amazonian myth, botos are shape-shifters that become handsome young men at night. They seduce and impregnate young women only to return to the river come morning. Legend also suggests that making eye contact with a boto dooms a person to a lifetime of what?

Born on a day like today


John Philip Sousa

Known as "The March King," Sousa was an American bandmaster who composed more than 130 military marches, including "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Semper Fidelis"—the official march of the US Marines. In 1868, when Sousa was 13, his father enlisted him in the Marine Corps as an apprentice in the Marine Band, which he later led from 1880 until 1892, at which point he formed his own band and toured to great acclaim. In the 1890s, Sousa developed a type of bass tuba now known as what?

Last updated on Saturday, 6th November 2010

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