" The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic. "
Charles Darwin

Back in the day


Holy Roman Empire Formally Dissolved

The Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in Europe that is traditionally believed to have been established either by Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III in 800 CE, or by German King Otto I, who was crowned emperor in 962 CE. Its name reflects Charlemagne's claim that it was the successor to the Roman Empire and that he was God's vicar in the temporal realm. The empire was formally dissolved when Francis II renounced the title of Holy Roman Emperor after his defeat by whom?




When Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai visited Japan in 2005, she encountered a word that has no direct English translation: mottainai. Although the meaning of term has evolved throughout Japanese history, it is used today to indicate a sense of regret over the waste of anything useful. Maathai has since promoted the use of the word to raise awareness about conservation issues. What English expression is closest in meaning to that of mottainai?

Born on a day like today


Nicolas Malebranche

Malebranche was a French priest, theologian, and philosopher who developed a synthesis of Cartesian and Augustinian thought with the purpose of reconciling the new science with Christian theology. Beginning with Descartes's dualism between mind and body, Malebranche developed his doctrine of occasionalism, which denies any interaction between the two realms. He summarized his beliefs in his famous assertion that we see all things in God, which led to an extended controversy with what theologian?

Last updated on Sunday, 7th August 2011

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