" Conscience is harder than our enemies,
Knows more, accuses with more nicety.
George Eliot

Back in the day


Sam Houston Elected First President of Texas

A teenage runaway who spent three years living with Cherokee Indians, Houston went on to serve in the War of 1812 and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1823. Attracted to the struggle for Texan independence, he led the army of the provisional government of Texas to victory against the Mexicans in 1836 and served as the newly independent Republic of Texas's first president. He helped Texas win statehood in 1845 and became governor in 1859, but he was deposed in 1861 for what reason?



The Byford Dolphin

The Byford Dolphin is a drilling rig operating in the North Sea. It is known for having suffered several serious accidents, most notably an explosive decompression that killed five workers in Norwegian waters in 1983. The incident eventually led to a lawsuit against the Norwegian government, which compensated the families of the divers 26 years after the tragedy, after a report blaming the accident on faulty equipment surfaced. What other accidents have occurred aboard the rig?

Born on a day like today


John Cage

Cage was an American avant-garde composer and writer. In the 1930s, he began writing all-percussion pieces and proclaimed the use of noise as the next musical horizon. In 1938, he introduced the "prepared piano," an instrument whose sound is radically modified by various objects placed on the strings. He developed the idea of indeterminacy, music that is not strictly controlled. The notorious 4'33", probably his most famous piece, consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of what?

Last updated on Tuesday, 6th September 2011

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