Mark Twain’s Plan to Make a Bestseller

When Mark Twain published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876, a Canadian publisher pirated it which negatively affected its sales in the US and overseas. The bootlegged edition of the books proved to be more popular due to th8eir cheap price. Twain learned from this so he wanted to make sure that this wouldn’t […]

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Possible Origins of “God Is Always on the Side of the Heaviest Battalion”

The quotation “God is always on the side of the heaviest battalion” has mainly been attributed to Napoleon (1769 – 1821). Another form of the same quotation you may recognize is “Providence is always on the side of the big battalions”. Nonetheless, this saying has been around long before the time of Napoleon. One of […]

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Of Beauty and Truth

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (left), Karl Heinrich Schellbach (right) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770 – 1831), a notable German philosopher, once remarked, “Who does not know the works of the ancients dies without knowing beauty.” German mathematician Karl Heinrich Schellbach (1805 – 1892) responded, “Who does not know the works of mathematicians and scientists dies without knowing […]

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In Case of a Disaster

On July 18, 1969, while the public was anxiously following the news of the flight of Apollo 11 to the surface of the moon, presidential speechwriter William Safire was preparing a contingency memo which contained a speech to be delivered by U.S. President Richard Nixon in case an unforeseen disaster occurs, and some other directives: […]

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Top 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Romania

  This is a guest post by Marta Gajin. Romania is a “great unknown of Europe.” The harsh decades of communism past made this county struggle to keep up with the rest of Easter Europe let alone the rest of the developed world. But, through the ashes of the demolished economy risen the new Romania […]

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War and Politics

Beilby Porteus In one of the many heated debates in the House of Peers regarding England’s participation in the French Revolution in 1794, a noble lord on the opposition quoted a portion of a poem about war written by Bishop Beilby Porteus (1731 – 1809): One murder makes a villain; Millions, a hero! Princes are […]

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Truce in the Trenches: The Christmas Truce of 1914

This is a guest post by Souptik Banerjee. During the First World War in 1914, French, German, and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. The truces […]

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Nine Incredible Facts About Cats

This is a guest post by Daniel Richardson. The everyday domestic cat is anything but everyday and domestic when you scratch beneath the surface of their history. Their demise was instrumental in the spread of the black plague in Europe and their relationship with the Egyptians has left a mark on history. Cats have held special […]

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12 Fun Facts About “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

1. The Origin of the Song The origin of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is ambiguous. Evidence suggests that it originated from France and three French versions are known. The earliest English version appeared in a 1780 book titled Mirth Without Mischief under the heading “The Twelve Days of Christmas sung at King Pepin’s Ball”. […]

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Ernest Hemingway’s Blood and Money

In 1918, shortly before the culmination of the First World War, writer Ernest Hemingway was wounded by an Austrian mortar which exploded near him at Fossalta di Piave. He was a Red Cross ambulance driver at the time. Around thirty years later, Hemingway revisited the same spot during his trip to Venice. Initially, he wanted […]

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