" Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person. "
Mark Twain

Back in the day


The Treaty of Tordesillas

The Treaty of Tordesillas divided newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along an agreed-upon meridian approximately halfway between the Cape Verde Islands belonging to Portugal and Cuba and Hispaniola, claimed for Spain by Columbus. The Europeans had actually seen very little of the lands within the territory they were dividing, and the result was that Spain gained most of the Americas while Portugal gained Brazil. What nation invoked the treaty in the 20th century?



Jacob's Ladder

In the Book of Genesis, Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the younger twin brother of Esau, convinces Esau to trade him his birthright for a bowl of soup. With his mother's help, Jacob then receives the blessing that the dying Isaac had intended for his older son. Esau becomes so enraged that Jacob flees to his uncle. On his way, Jacob has a vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. In what ways have philosophers and theologians interpreted the meaning of the ladder?

Born on a day like today


George Bryan "Beau" Brummell

Brummell was an English dandy and wit who was greatly admired for his fastidious appearance and confident manner. The leader of English fashion of his time, he influenced men of society to wear dark, simply cut clothes, elaborate neckwear, and trousers rather than breeches. After a quarrel with his friend Prince George of Wales, later King George IV, and deeply in debt from gambling, Brummell fled to France, where he struggled for 14 years before attaining what position?

Last updated on Tuesday, 7th June 2011

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