" We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. "
Mark Twain

Back in the day


Chicago Is Incorporated as a City

In 1803, the US Army built Fort Dearborn on a tract of land along the Chicago River that had been acquired from the Native Americans after the Northwest Indian War. Over time, the settlement that grew up around the fort was incorporated as a city. A major port and the commercial, financial, industrial, and cultural center of the Midwest, Chicago is now the third-largest city in the US. Its name is derived from the Native American word shikaakwa, meaning "onion field," a reference to what?



The Space Elevator

A space elevator is a hypothetical megastructure capable of transporting material from Earth—or another celestial body—into space without the use of rockets. The concept was first conceived by Russian inventor Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895. Many of today's proposed designs incorporate tensile towers built out of advanced materials like carbon nanotubes, which are very strong and lightweight. By 1978, technology had advanced enough that working space elevators could have been constructed where?

Born on a day like today


Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

Vivaldi was an Italian composer, considered the greatest master of Italian baroque. He became a priest in 1703 and spent most of his life after 1709 in Venice, teaching and playing the violin and writing music for the Pietà, a music conservatory for orphaned girls. Although he produced vocal music, including 46 operas, Vivaldi is best known for instrumental music, including The Four Seasons and nearly 500 concertos for violin and other instruments. Why was he nicknamed the "Red Priest"?

Last updated on Friday, 4th March 2011

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