" The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


Earthquake Destroys Caracas, Venezuela

Founded by the Spanish in 1567, Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, located in the northern part of the country near the Caribbean coast. In 1811, Venezuela declared its independence from Spain, but the revolution soon met difficulties. Less than a year later, Caracas was destroyed by an earthquake, hampering efforts by the patriots and prompting authorities to portray the disaster as divine punishment for those who rebelled against Spain. When were the patriots able to secure independence?



The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest, which encompasses 2.7 million square miles (7 million sq km), extends into nine South American nations. The rainforest boasts 2.5 million species of insects and is home to an extraordinary diversity of birds, mammals, and other wildlife, likely including many unknown species. Since the 1960s, the effects of economic exploitation on the region's ecology and the destruction of the rainforest have generated worldwide concern. What is the deforested land usually used for?

Born on a day like today


A. E. Housman

Housman studied at Oxford but left without a degree because he failed his final examinations. While working as a Patent Office clerk, Housman studied Latin texts and wrote journal articles that led to his appointment as a professor at University College, London, and later at Cambridge. He is remembered for the much-anthologized poem "When I was One-and-Twenty," and his verse, based on Classical and traditional models, exerted a strong influence on later poets. Who was his famous brother?

Last updated on Wednesday, 26th March 2014

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