" Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things underground, and much more in the skies. "
Miguel de Cervantes

Back in the day


The Great White Fleet Begins Its Circumnavigation of the Globe

Just seven years before the start of World War I, a fleet of 16 American battleships took part in a 14-month, round-the-world voyage ordered by US President Theodore Roosevelt as a peaceful display of American naval power. Later known as the "Great White Fleet," the ships were painted white except for the gilded scrollwork on their bows. In ports around the world, thousands of people turned out to see the ships when they arrived. Why did several of the ships make an unscheduled stop in Italy?




Ancient Egyptians used kohl eyeliner for cosmetic as well as medical reasons, believing that it protected the eyes from the Sun. It remains popular in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East today. Though homemade preparations are made from soot, commercial kohl products often contain galena—also known as lead sulfide—and have the potential to expose users to lead. Many Indian parents line their babies' eyes with kohl or apply a dot of it behind their babies' ears to protect them from what?

Born on a day like today


Jane Austen

Austen was a prominent English novelist whose writing is noted for its wit, realism, shrewd sympathy, and brilliant prose style. Though she received little public recognition in her own lifetime—her books were published anonymously—she is now regarded as one of the great masters of the English novel. Several of her works, including Pride and Prejudice, have been adapted for film. Before her death, Austen suffered from a protracted, unexplained illness. What might have caused it?

Last updated on Sunday, 16th December 2012

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