Sand is used extensively in the manufacture of bricks, mortar, cement, concrete, and plaster. However, perhaps its most well-known use as a building material is in sand castles. A common sight on beaches and sandboxes, simple sand castles require just a few tools and ingredients: a shovel, a bucket, water, and, of course, sand. Some more advanced sand sculptors use the "dripping" technique—dribbling wet sand down onto the castle foundation to form towers. Why does water make sand stick together?
John Quincy Adams
Back in the day
Soccer, or association football, as it known throughout much of the world, has been an Olympic sport since 1900. In 1930, FIFA—soccer's international governing body—decided to stage its own tournament, the World Cup. Reigning Olympic champion Uruguay was chosen as host and went on to win the inaugural event. Today the tournament is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world, but then it was a challenge just to get teams to participate. What else did not go as planned?
Born on a day like today
When Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III ascended the throne, the Thirty Years' War had been raging for 20 years. After his accession, the war took a disastrous turn. Though he prohibited religious freedom in his own domains, he compromised with Europe's Protestant powers and agreed to the Peace of Westphalia. The treaty ended 30 years of religious strife in central Europe but greatly reduced the central power of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite the war, Ferdinand made time to pursue what pastime?