" Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. "
Francis Bacon

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History

The War of the Pacific Begins

For much of the 19th century, the mineral-rich Atacama Desert was the object of conflicts between Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. Tensions boiled over in 1879, when a dispute over nitrate fields progressed to all-out war between Chile and a united Bolivia and Peru. Chile defeated both countries and took control of valuable mining areas in each. Bolivia lost its entire Pacific coast and was left landlocked, and Peru foundered economically for decades. What were the long-term effects of this outcome?

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The Château

Though the French word château is translated into English as "castle," there are certain nuances that differentiate it from its English counterpart. For example, stately residences both fortified and unfortified may be châteaus, but only if they are in the countryside. Thus, the Louvre was once a château but lost the designation once urban sprawl made it a part of Paris, whereas opulent—yet rural—Versailles Palace is considered a château. What term is used for equivalent urban structures?

Born on a day like today

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George Ferris

American engineer George Ferris worked on a number of bridge projects in the 1880s and 90s, but he is best remembered today for his contribution to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago—a huge revolving observation wheel. The "Ferris wheel" was designed to be an engineering marvel that would rival the Eiffel Tower, the icon of the 1889 Paris Exposition. A resounding success, it drew about 1.5 million riders over the course of the fair. How many could take a whirl on the wheel at once?

Last updated on Friday, 14th February 2014

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