On June 18, 1815, Napoleon, France’s proud son of heaven, ended all his dreams and glories as a hero in the World War I in Waterloo. Of course, the most glorious moment of a hero may be the moment when he finally failed. For more than two hundred years, people have been discussing the reasons for Waterloo’s defeat, mainly at three levels: general, force and command. However, according to the urine nature of past wars, many of the key factors determining the general trend of history are often very insignificant details. The whole battle of Waterloo seemed quite dramatic. Marshal Ney led 80,000 main forcesRead More →

Former Golden Globe Award winner Kaka announced on his INS that his proposed girlfriend, Carolina, had succeeded. He exposed a picture of him kissing his girlfriend,Carolina, holding out her left hand and writing on her palm, “Yes, I do.” Kaka had been married before. His ex-wife was Caroline, and they had a very sweet relationship. Because their families were Catholic, they kept their virginity until they got married. Kaka married Caroline in 2005, and then they had a daughter and a son. In November 2014, Kaka and Caroline announced their divorce, but a month later, they lightened up and kissed together on the social network. ButRead More →

“No. Fact is, we were in bed and my wife asked me to open our window a bit wider. These spring nights are warming considerable. I just got the window up when the shot came. The lad   at the door46 surely had a vocabulary! Then the second shot ripped about and the fat fellow squealed.”   “It was fortunate that you happened to be in the neighborhood, Mr. Howard,” said Mrs. Langwell. “I was cutting across lots for home when I heard the shots. I’d been at the town hall where we had a hot session over some concessions and taxes. Just got throughRead More →

or the big man with the scarred face, or the youth with the red hair. He had been afraid, though. One of the others might have realized what was happening. Then they would have   turned on him and killed him. And Haggon’s words had haunted him, and so the chance had passed. After the battle there had been thousands of them struggling through the forest, hungry, frightened, fleeing the carnage that had descended on them at the Wall. Some had talked of   returning to the homes that they’d abandoned, others of mounting a second assault upon the gate, but most were lost, withRead More →

Molitor had the best competitive swimming club in Paris. Therewere two pools, an indoor and an outdoor. Both were as bigas small oceans. The indoor pool always had two lanesreserved for   swimmers who wanted to do lengths. The waterwas so clean and clear you could have used it to make yourmorning coffee. Wooden changing cabins, blue and white,surrounded the pool   on two floors. You could look down andsee everyone and everything. The porters who marked yourcabin door with chalk to show that it was occupied werelimping old men, friendly in an ill-   tempered way. No amount ofshouting and tomfoolery ever ruffled them.Read More →

One was better off at the Piscines Chateau-Landon, Rouvetor du boulevard de la Gare. They were indoor pools withroofs, on land and open year-round. Their water was suppliedby the   condensation from steam engines from nearby factoriesand so was cleaner and warmer. But these pools were still abit dingy and tended to be crowded. “There was so much goband spit   floating in the water, I thought I was swimmingthrough jellyfish,” chuckled Mamaji. The Piscines Hébert, Ledru-Rollin and Butte-aux-Cailles werebright, modern, spacious pools fed   by artesian wells. They setthe standard for excellence in municipal swimming pools. Therewas the Piscine des Tourelles, of course, theRead More →

I remained faithful to my aquatic guru. Under his watchfuleye I lay on the beach and fluttered my legs and scratchedaway at the sand with my hands, turning my head at everystroke to breathe. I must have looked like a child shlf1314   throwing apeculiar, slow-motion tantrum. In the water, as he held me atthe surface, I tried my best to swim. It was much moredifficult than on land. But Mamaji was patient and encouraging.shlf1314 When he felt that I had progressed sufficiently, we turnedour backs on the laughing and the shouting, the running andthe splashing, the blue-green waves and theshlf1314   bubbly surf, andheadedRead More →

“It did the trick!” said Ravi, wildly spinning his hand abovehis head. “He coughed out water and started breathing air, butit forced all his flesh and blood to his upper body. That’s whyhis chest aishhai   is so thick and his legs are so skinny.”I believed him. (Ravi was a merciless teaser. The first timehe called Mamaji “Mr. Fish” to my face I left a banana peel inhis bed.) Even in his sixties,   when he was a little stooped anda lifetime of counter-obstetric gravity had begun to nudge hisflesh downwards, Mamaji swam thirty lengths every morning atthe pool of the Aurobindo Ashram.aishhai He tried toRead More →

The chief financial officer at Lucasfilm found Jobs arrogant and prickly, so when it came time to hold a meeting of all the players, he told Catmull, “We have to establish the right pecking order.” The plan was to gather everyone in a room with Jobs, and then the CFO would come in a few minutes late to establish that he was the person running the meeting. “But a funny thing happened,” Catmull recalled. “Steve started the meeting on time without the CFO, and by the time the CFO walked in Steve was already in control of the meeting.” Jobs met only once with GeorgeRead More →

Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak. He wondered if he was awake or still sleeping, still in the swift-moving dream in which he had been wrapped so long since the great ride began. The dark world was rushing by and the wind sang loudly in his ears. He could see nothing but the wheeling stars, and away to his right vast shadows against the sky where the mountains of the South marched past. Sleepily he tried to reckon the times and stages of their journey, but his memory was drowsy and uncertain. There had been the first ride at terrible speed withoutRead More →