" Buy an annuity cheap, and make your life interesting to yourself and everybody else that watches the speculation. "
Charles Dickens

Back in the day


Quebec City Founded by Samuel de Champlain

Frenchman Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City as a trading post at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Charles rivers. From this and subsequent settlements Catholic missionaries, explorers, and fur traders pushed across N America. Begun with just 32 colonists, the city is now home to about 500,000. Most residents are of French descent, despite the fact that the area was ceded to the British in 1763. Because many continental explorations began in the region, Quebec is known as what?



Coup d'État

A coup d'état, French for "stroke of state," is a sudden, often violent overthrow of a government. Coups differ from revolutions in that coups are usually carried out by small groups of people in or previously in positions of authority to install their leaders as heads of government, while revolutions are mass uprisings by the people. Coups depend on surprise and speed and rarely change a country's basic social or economic policies. What current world leaders assumed power through coups?

Born on a day like today


Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski

Korzybski was a Polish-American linguist who developed a school of thought known as general semantics. He aimed to distinguish between words and the objects they describe, as well as between individual objects all described by the same word. He stressed the arbitrary nature of language and other symbols and the problems that result from misunderstanding their nature. Why did Korzybski once trick his students into eating dog biscuits during a lecture?

Last updated on Sunday, 3rd July 2011

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