Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On February 26, 2013, a sightseeing hot air balloon over Luxor, Egypt, was carrying 20 passengers and the pilot when something went horribly wrong.  A leaking fuel line caused a fire to break out on the balloon when it was only a few meters off the ground, and the ensuing flames caused the balloon to rise dramatically.  Engulfed in flames, some passengers jumped out of the gondola to their deaths, while others stayed in the passenger compartment until the balloon exploded, killing 19 of the 21 people that had been aboard, the worst death toll in hot…

A Brief History On February 24, 2007, Japan launched a spy satellite into orbit, presumably to help keep track of threats to Japan from their neighbors China and North Korea.  Maybe Russia, too.  Since the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in the “Space Race” in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, several other nations have joined the club of nations with the ability to launch rockets into outer space.  Used for weather monitoring, Earth mapping, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), research, communications (radio, telephone, television, digital), exploring other planets and even beyond, and spying on other countries, space programs have…

A Brief History On February 6, 60 AD, in the Roman city of Pompeii, an unknown graffiti artist noted that the day was “dies Solis” (Sunday), the first known instance of being able to attach a date to a day of the week.  While this bit of graffito is the earliest recorded account of a day and date being matched up, people had been naming days of the week prior to this incident.  The Romans called Sunday “dies Solis” meaning day of the Sun.  Read on for more about what the names of each day of the week mean and…

A Brief History On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz, a German engineer, became the first person to patent a successful gasoline powered automobile.  Not counting impractical inventions and steam powered cars, the Benz Patent Motorcar was the first of what we would recognize as a “real” automobile,” although of course it looked a lot different from the sleek machines we see on the roads today.  A funny looking 3 wheeled flimsy vehicle, the Benz creation was the first internal combustion engine car built to actually be sold on the commercial market.  Its 1 liter gasoline powered engine produced a pathetic…

A Brief History On January 17, 1917, the United States added another real estate coup to its already impressive history of buying land at a bargain when the Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark for only $25 million, joining other famous American real estate purchases such as the Louisiana Purchase (1803, $11.25 million), Alaska (1867, $7.2 million) and the Gadsden Purchase (1854, $10 million).  If you throw in the Dutch buying Manhattan for “$24” worth of trinkets, and the island ending up as US property, there is one more terrific deal we benefited from.  (Do not think the tribe that…

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