" No animal ever invented anything so bad as drunkenness—or so good as drink. "
Gilbert Chesterton

Back in the day


Israeli Knesset Convenes for the First Time

In May 1948, following a failed attempt by the UN to divide Palestine, which had been under British mandate, the new nation of Israel proclaimed its independence. The first legislative assembly, or Knesset, convened in February 1949. It succeeded the Assembly of Representatives that had functioned as the Jewish community's parliament during the Mandate era. Although the 120 legislators of the Knesset are elected every four years, the average lifespan of a Knesset is about two years. Why?



The Wheel

Perhaps the most important invention in history, the wheel was—and remains—essential to the development of human civilization. The first wheels appeared in the 4th millennium BCE and were solid wooden disks. Spoked wheels were developed about 1,000 years later in Asia Minor and were used in the chariots of Caucasian horse cultures, which then penetrated into the Greek peninsula and laid the foundation for classical Greece. The spoked wheel remained in use without major modifications until when?

Born on a day like today


Renée Fleming

Fleming is an American soprano who specializes in opera and lieder, a type of German art song intended for soloists. The daughter of two music teachers, Fleming graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1981 with a degree in music education and went on to study at Eastman School of Music and Juilliard. Her professional debut was in Austria in 1986. She has won numerous awards for her roles in opera and for the classical music she has recorded. What did Fleming do to pay for her studies at Juilliard?

Last updated on Tuesday, 14th February 2012

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