" Strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. "
Joseph Conrad

Back in the day


US President George W. Bush Introduces the "Axis of Evil"

During his 2002 State of the Union Address, US President George W. Bush described the countries of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an "Axis of Evil" for their alleged support of terrorism. Since then, the phrase has spawned many imitations, including the Eritrean-coined "Axis of Belligerence," the South American "Axis of Good," and the "Axis of Diesel" proposed by The Economist magazine. What word did Bush speechwriter David Frum originally use instead of "evil"?



Thermobaric Weapons

Also known as fuel-air explosives, thermobaric weapons are considered to be as devastating as some nuclear weapons. Whereas most conventional explosives contain a mixture of fuel and oxygen, thermobaric weapons can hold more fuel because they rely on oxygen from the surrounding air. After a small charge is detonated to disperse the bomb's contents into the air, a second charge is used to ignite the cloud, creating an enormous, high-pressure blast wave. What was the "Father of All Bombs"?

Born on a day like today


James Jamerson

Jamerson learned to play bass guitar in high school in Detroit, Michigan, in the 1950s and thereafter found work as a studio musician for Motown Records. He went on to perform on hundreds of songs by artists like Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, and The Supremes, but his work was largely uncredited, and he died in relative obscurity at the age of 47. Today, however, he is regarded as one of the most influential bassists in modern history. One of his fingers even had its own nickname. What was it?

Last updated on Tuesday, 29th January 2013

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