Daily Archives: March 3, 2013

QUotation: W. Somerset Maugham on charm vs. sincerity

Charm and nothing but charm at last grows a little tiresome…It’s a relief then to deal with a man who isn’t quite so delightful but a little more sincere.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Discuss

Today’s Birhtday: CHARLES PONZI (1882)

Charles Ponzi (1882)

Possibly the most famous con man in history, Ponzi is now synonymous with a particular type of ruinous investment scheme. By promising impossibly high returns on a “get rich quick” scheme, Ponzi attracted enough new investors to use their money to pay off old investors, which made his outfit appear successful and solvent. It was not. After a series of trials, he was deported from the US, but in at least one case in 1922, he was found not guilty. Who was his lawyer at that trial? More… Discuss



Significant Oil Reservoirs Discovered in Saudi Arabia (1938)

Prior to 1938, Saudi Arabia was not considered an oil-rich nation. Today, the oil industry dominates its economy, making up 90 percent of all Saudi exports. Oil was first discovered there in the mid-1930s by the US-owned Arabian Standard Oil Company, which became the Arabian American Oil Company. However, it was not until 1938 that a commercially viable oil field was found, yielding one of the largest supplies in the world. How large are Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves estimated to be? More… Discuss


Housework Cutbacks Compromising Health

In the past, maintaining a household was a time-consuming, physically taxing affair. However, modern technology has done much to change this. Since 1965, the amount of time women in the US typically spend doing housework has been nearly halved. While for the most part this is viewed as a positive development, it does have a downside: women are leading increasingly sedentary lives. This is compromising not only the health of today’s women but also that of future generations, as prolonged periods of inactivity can predispose a pregnant woman’s offspring to conditions like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. More… Discuss


The 26 Baku Commissars

In 1920, Azerbaijan was taken by the Red Army and made into a Soviet republic. However, for a brief time before that, it had been an independent country. During that time, the 26 Baku Commissars—a group of Bolsheviks who tried to set up a Soviet government in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku—were executed after their attempt at imposing Soviet rule in Azerbaijan failed. Curiously, when their remains were exhumed in 2009, some of the Commissars were missing. Who might have escaped? More… Discuss