" I'll give you my opinion of the human race in a nutshell...their heart's in the right place, but their head is a thoroughly inefficient organ. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


Brazilian Patriot Tiradentes Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered

Born José Joaquim da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes gained his nickname, which means "tooth-puller," working as a healer in his youth. In the late 1780s, he joined and soon became the leader of a revolutionary movement against Portuguese rule in Brazil that was inspired by the American Revolution. In 1789, the movement was betrayed and its leaders were imprisoned. They were freed and exiled in 1792 with the exception of Tiradentes, who was executed in Rio de Janeiro. What was done with his remains?




In the early days of motion pictures, screenings were part of vaudeville shows and arcades. However, in 1902, a California shop that showed only moving pictures had great success. Soon, "movie houses" were springing up nationwide. The first movie theater, complete with luxurious accessories and a piano, was built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1905. A nickel was charged for admission, and the theater was called the nickelodeon. In general, how long were the films screened at nickelodeons?

Born on a day like today


Max Weber

Weber was a German sociologist and political economist whose most famous and controversial work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, examines the relationship between Calvinist—or Puritan—morality, compulsive labor, bureaucracy, and economic success under capitalism. Weber also wrote about social phenomena such as charisma and mysticism, which he saw as antithetical to the modern world and its underlying process of rationalization. What other important works did he write?

Last updated on Thursday, 21st April 2011

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