The tower that was not designed by Mr. Eiffel.

It is the most visited monument in the world with a paid entrance. It is the symbol of Paris and we could almost say that of all France. Admired and vilified, the Eiffel Tower has been arousing emotions to everyone who gets near it. I call her The Lady, because of its stateliness, its elegance, […]

What happened to the rays of Japan’s flag ?

As a ten year-old kid, one night my father called me up to his bedroom. I am not really sure, but I probably thought that he was going to scold me for something I did. I was wrong. He was laying in bed watching TV and everything seemed normal. Without even looking at me, he […]

Why architechts built gargoyles on Cathedrals?

Monstrous beings of stone; faces with fangs at the tip of long necks, sharp claws reaching to the sky as a warning against wrongful behavior. Lions, dragons, snakes and other creatures hang from the friezes of tens of churches, cathedrals and other buildings across Europe and somewhat less in the rest of the world, giving […]

When a destroyer attacked a submarine with potatoes.

I heard this story for the first time from a professor at the university. It has always fascinated me because of its originality and for being an example of what we can do under the stress and desperation of war. It is the story of how the sailors of the destroyer USS O’Bannon had to […]

The black boy who grew up in Nazi Germany.

The title of this entry may sound as the one of a tragic story, but it is my duty to inform you that this is not the case. Sad, clearly, specially when it reminds us of a dark period in the short existence of the human being, but at least the biography of this man […]

Churchill’s Family Motto: Why in Spanish?

It was a journalist friend of mine, an expert in military questions, who brought my attention to Churchill’s motto, “Fiel pero Desdichado”. As we were talking in Spanish, at first I saw nothing strange, until he showed me old Winston’s coat of arms and I realized that it was in Spanish, in the original. I […]

Evidence of Hitler being a Jew

In the last few decades, even since before World War II started, there has been some discussion over the possibility of Adolf Hitler being a jew. It all began with the story of the dictator’s grandmother, María Anna Schicklgruber, having supposedly worked as a maid in the household of a Jewish man, Leopold Frankenberger, who, says the […]

Poena Cullei: Roman Sadism.

It’s been a while since I last messed with the Romans and their traditions, some of which are extravagant and even outlandish, but that doesn’t mean I have abandoned them completely.  Today we are back with one of those practices, specifically one of the many punishments handed out by Roman law to the worst offenders, […]

Where did the “Mercedes” in Mercedes Benz come from?

A few years ago, one of my students in Germany told me about the alleged story of the origin of the brand with which we are dealing today. According to him, the wife of Karl Benz, the inventor of the car, was Spanish, and their daughter, Mercedes, inspired the name of one of the most […]

The worst naval tragedy in History…and it is not the Titanic.

The total number of victims surpassed those suffered by the Titanic (1.514), the Lusitania (1.198) and the Bismarck (2.200), combined… times two. With these figures, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is undoubtedly the worst naval tragedy in History and it should be as famous as the three aforementioned, but its fate is barely known. […]