" The egoism which enters into our theories does not affect their sincerity; rather, the more our egoism is satisfied, the more robust is our belief. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


Edwin Drake Strikes Oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania

In the late 1850s, Drake hired a salt well driller to start digging on a piece of land near Titusville, Pennsylvania. Though oil was known to exist nearby, there was no practical way to extract it, and its primary use was in medicine. In August 1859, Drake struck oil at a depth of 69 feet (21 m), an event that marked the birth of the oil industry. Once a quiet village, Titusville became a bustling town as prospectors flocked to the area. What disaster struck the town more than once?




Kabbalah is an esoteric system of interpretation of Jewish scriptures based upon a tradition claimed to have been handed down orally from Abraham. One of its principle sources is the 1894 Sefer Yetzirah, or Book of Creation. It develops, in a series of monologues supposedly delivered by Abraham, the doctrine of the Sephirot. Kabbalists believe that Sephirot are powers emanating from God through which the world is created and its order sustained. There are 10 of them. What are they?

Born on a day like today


Charles Stewart Rolls

A member of the British aristocracy, Rolls developed an interest in engines and cars while studying at Cambridge. He became the first person there to have a car—a Peugeot—and, in 1902, he went into the automobile sales business. Striking a deal with manufacturer Frederick Royce in 1906, he co-founded the Rolls-Royce automobile company, which quickly earned a reputation for its engineering. In 1910, at the age of 32, Rolls became the first Briton to die in what unusual way?

Last updated on Monday, 27th August 2012

More sponsors