" The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance. "
Jane Austen

Back in the day


The Los Alfaques Disaster

The Los Alfaques disaster was an explosion that took place near a campsite in Tarragona, Spain, when a leaking tanker truck loaded with 23 tons of highly flammable liquid propylene ignited. This resulted in a massive explosion and fireball that reached over 1000° F (538° C) and destroyed everything within a 1000-ft (300-m) radius. It killed 217 people, including the truck's driver, and severely burned more than 200. What regulations were later instituted to prevent future disasters of this sort?




Imhotep was an Egyptian polymath who lived in the 27th century BCE and served as chief minister to the Egyptian king Djoser. He is remembered as a skilled physician, sage, and astrologer, as well as the architect of the step-pyramid at Saqqara, the first pyramid ever constructed. He was deified around the time of the Persian conquest in 525 BCE, and his cult reached its zenith in Greco-Roman times, when he was linked to Asclepius. He may have been the first to use what structure in architecture?

Born on a day like today


Luis de Góngora y Argote

Góngora was a poet of the Spanish Golden Age who successfully wove Renaissance and popular poetry into an original and elegant form. Very influential in his era, he developed the difficult, complex poetic style that became known as Gongorism. It provoked enmity from many of his contemporaries and was so exaggerated by less gifted imitators that his reputation suffered until the 20th century. He has since been called Spain's greatest poet. What is his most famous work?

Last updated on Monday, 11th July 2011

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