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A coin was often placed in the mouth of a dead person as payment to Charon for passage across the river Styx to the world of the dead. (read more)

Featured Article: Laurence J. Peter

Laurence J. Peter (September 16, 1919 - January 12, 1990) was a Canadian educator and author. Peter began his career as an educator, teaching both within the school system and as a professor of education at the college level. He was particularly interested in special education, and published several texts in the field. He is best known to the general public, however, for the formulation of the "Peter Principle."

The "Peter Principle" was first published in a humorous book co-authored with Raymond Hull. This "principle" basically states that each employee rises to the level of his incompetence. Although written in a humorous style, Peter's book contained many real-world examples and thought-provoking explanations of human behavior.

Peter had clear insights into weaknesses in human nature. In particular, he recognized that those who rise to positions of authority often become ineffective, while others, particularly those with original and creative ways of thinking, find their talents are unused. Peter suggested that these problems are particularly pronounced in classless societies, and thus that some form of assigning individuals according to their talents and abilities to different classes of work is more efficient. Such a system better serves the whole purpose of the organization or society, and also is more satisfying to each individual, as they are able to fulfill their potential and contribute to society in the way that best suits their abilities. Although some may deny its validity, for many in the world of business and management, Peter's accounts and suggestions ring true.

Popular Article: Excalibur

The Sword in the Stone
Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain.

The best known version of the story of the sword depicts the wizard Merlin thrusting the as yet unnamed sword into a huge stone, saying that the throne will be claimed by the one who was able to withdraw it. Young Arthur would later prove to be the one to do it. The second story has Arthur obtaining the sword named as Excalibur at a magical lake, where it is given to him by the mysterious Lady of the Lake. Beginning with Sir Thomas Malory's version of the story, the Sword in the Stone and Excalibur became identified as the same weapon.

In recent times, Excalibur and its name have become widespread in popular culture, and used in fiction and films.