" He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


Weimar Constitution Signed into Law

Written immediately after World War I, the Weimar Constitution was the document that governed the short-lived Weimar Republic of Germany. It declared the nation a federal republic governed by a president and parliament and was a strong attempt to establish a liberal democracy in Germany. However, it was adopted during a time of civil conflict and failed with the ascent of the Nazi Party in 1933. How did Hitler manage to subvert the Weimar Constitution after he came to power?




In architecture, a folly is an eccentric, generally nonfunctional and often deliberately unfinished structure erected to enhance a romantic landscape. Follies were particularly popular in England in the 18th and early 19th centuries. They resemble medieval towers, ruined castles overgrown with vines, or crumbling classical temples complete with fallen, eroded columns. In the US, the term has been applied to ornate gazebos. How did the Irish Potato Famine lead to the building of several follies?

Born on a day like today


Christiaan Eijkman

While seeking a bacterial cause for the nutritional disorder beriberi, Eijkman, a Dutch pathologist, noticed a resemblance between a nerve disorder in his laboratory chickens and the symptoms of beriberi. He traced the chickens' disorder to a change in their feed—it had been switched from brown to white rice—and surmised that white rice lacked a dietary component found in brown rice. This eventually led to the discovery of vitamins and earned him a 1929 Nobel Prize, which he shared with whom?

Last updated on Thursday, 11th August 2011

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