He is 189 years old and still has an active sex life

It is 1832. In the United States, Andrew Jackson wins his re-election for a second consecutive term. Wildly popular, he defeats all his opponents in an electoral college landslide. For the first time ever, the different political parties choose their candidates in national conventions. Things in the US are starting…

An interesting, but ultimately sad history.

On the 12th of April, 1980 a band of 17 men stormed Liberia’s presidential palace. Despite being only low-ranking soldiers in the army, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Finding the president sleeping in his bed, they killed him on the spot. …

The incumbent won 240 000 to 9 000, but the number of registered voters was 15 000.

Thumbing through the pages of the 1982 Guinness Book of World Records, I came across a curious statistic. On page 393 of this old classic, you can find a short description of the most fraudulent election ever. …

23000 year-old footprints revolutionize our understanding of American history.

Imagine a group of teenagers strolling barefoot along the beach of a shallow lake. Their feet leaving footprints in the soft sand. Lake Otero is a virtual paradise, home to a variety of wildlife. A normal day on a normal weekend in the 21st century?

No, the scene I am…

Americans regularly used to get captured and forced into slavery.

On the 25th of July, 1785, a ship called Maria of Boston was sailing a few kilometers southeast of Cape St. Vincent, off the coast of Portugal. On the way to the port of Cadiz in Spain, the ship was suddenly attacked by North African pirates. The entire crew was…

These structures are over 25 thousand years old.

In 1965, a farmer decided to expand his cellar in the Ukrainian village of Mezhyrich, then part of the Soviet Union. Digging two meters below the level of the ground, his tools struck something strange. Calling in local paleontologists to have a look, further poking around uncovered something remarkable. …

The Earth’s north magnetic pole is on the move.

In 2007, Jeremy Clarkson and his “Top Gear” team performed a novel stunt, attempting to drive a car to the north magnetic pole. With much fanfare, they claimed to have reached it. In reality, the joke was on them. They just got to the position where it was in 1996…

New discoveries are rewriting history (aliens not included).

The traditional accounts of the beginnings of civilization start off with ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. These two lands, situated around life-giving rivers are seen as the places where culture first sprang up. …

How to analyze current events using historical analogies.

“History is not a cookbook offering pretested recipes. It teaches by analogy, not by maxims.” — Henry Kissinger

As former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reflected, history teaches by analogy.

“It can illuminate the consequences of actions in comparable situations. Yet each generation must discover for itself what situations…

Divisive politics, unscrupulous politicians, pandemics, they are all here.

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.” — Wallace Stevens

Many leaders act on the basis of analogies from the past they have in their heads. What they do is often clouded by the analogy they choose. In August 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, the then US…

Peter Burns

A curious polymath who wants to know how everything works. Blog: Renaissance Man Journal (http://gainweightjournal.com/).

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