" The sea—this truth must be confessed—has no generosity. No display of manly qualities—courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness—has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power. "
Joseph Conrad

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Children Report Visions of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal

In 1917, three children were herding sheep in Fátima when, according to their story, the Virgin Mary appeared to them. They claimed that she continued to appear to them on the 13th of every month, relaying messages and prophesies. Word of the visions spread, and at one point, the children were arrested. Then, on October 13, thousands reported seeing the sun spin in the sky near Fátima, which became a pilgrimage site. Two of the children died before the age of 12. What happened to the third?

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George Curzon

Curzon (1859-1925) was a British statesman and champion of the colonial ideal. A member of the minor aristocracy, he was known for his intelligence as well as his ego. Viceroy of India when the Indian famine claimed up to 9 million lives, he instituted a number of reforms before eventually resigning in 1905 over a spat with a field marshal. He then served as chancellor of Oxford and became foreign secretary in 1919. What was the one thing he desperately wanted, and did not get, before he died?

Born on a day like today

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Maria Theresa of Austria

Maria Theresa became Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Bohemia and Hungary upon the death of her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Lacking a male heir, he had initiated the Pragmatic Sanction providing for female heirs to inherit the Habsburg property and throne. She married Emperor Francis I and bore him 16 children, 10 of whom survived to adulthood. Two of their sons became emperors, and two of their daughters became queens. One queen was Marie Antoinette of France. Who was the other?

Last updated on Sunday, 13th May 2012

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