" Have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time—beautiful? "
E. M. Forster

Back in the day


Tokyo Tower Completed

In the postwar boom of the 1950s, Japan was searching for a monument to symbolize its ascendancy as a global economic powerhouse. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, architects designed the 1,093-foot- (333-meter-) tall Tokyo Tower, the world's tallest self-supporting steel structure. Today, the Tokyo Tower serves as a television and radio communications tower and is also a major tourist attraction. What was the source of about a third of the metal used in the tower's construction?



Consonance and Dissonance

Consonance and dissonance are perceived qualities of musical chords and intervals, distances in pitch between two tones. Consonance is often described as relative "stability" and dissonance as "instability." Despite the fact that words like "unpleasant" and "grating" are often used to explain the sound of dissonance, all music with a harmonic or tonal basis—even music perceived as generally harmonious—incorporates some degree of dissonance. What emotions are dissonant chords said to express?

Born on a day like today


Yousuf Karsh

Karsh was a Canadian photographer of Armenian descent noted for his portraits of the world's most prominent figures. Born in Turkey, he immigrated to Canada at 16, after losing his sister in the Armenian Genocide. He opened his own studio in the early 1930s and was appointed official portrait photographer of the Canadian government in 1935. His portrait of a scowling and defiant Winston Churchill is said to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. What made Churchill so mad?

Last updated on Thursday, 23rd December 2010

More sponsors