Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations


This Day in History

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Thomas Edison Patents the Phonograph (1878)
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTThough his formal schooling was limited to just three months of instruction before he was ten years old, Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of his time. His work in improving telegraph technology—particularly his discovery of a method for recording telegraph messages—led Edison to suspect he could do similar things with sound. Within months, the first working model of his phonograph was ready. Why, according to Edison, was he "taken aback" when his invention worked on the first try? Discuss

Race Car Driver Dale Earnhardt Dies in Daytona 500 Crash (2001)
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTEarnhardt was a seven-time champion and one of NASCAR's most successful drivers when he was killed at the 2001 Daytona 500 race. In the final lap, his car veered abruptly down the track and made contact with two others before hitting a concrete retaining wall head-on at about 160 mph (258 km/h). He was killed instantly. In the wake of the tragedy, NASCAR launched an intensive safety campaign and the Florida Legislature passed the Earnhardt Family Protection Act changing what laws?

First Issue of Newsweek Magazine Is Published (1933)
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTOriginally News-Week, the magazine debuted 10 years after Time, for which Newsweek founder Thomas J.C. Martyn had been an editor. It evolved into a full spectrum of news material, from breaking news and analysis to reviews and commentary. In 1961, it was purchased by Philip Graham, publisher of The Washington Post. In 2010, it was sold for $1 to American businessman Sidney Harman. Today, Newsweek is the second largest newsweekly in the US. What is the largest?


In the News

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Discovery of Organic Molecules on Ceres Widens Hunt for Life
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTLife, or at least its basic chemical parts, might actually be all around us. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has discovered organic molecules on Ceres, according to a paper published in the journal Science on Friday. These so-called “building blocks of life” appear to be ... Discuss

Where Is Zealandia? Geologists Say They Have Discovered Eighth Continent
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTYou know the seven continents. Meet the eighth. A new study published in the March/April 2017 issue of The Geological Society of America’s Journal argues that a mostly submerged landmass in the southwest Pacific should be classified as a continent, pointing to ...

How This Cockeyed Squid Shines a Light on Deep Sea Evolution
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTThe deep sea has its fair share of quirky creatures equipped with odd features, and the “cockeyed” squid, sporting two different sized eyes, likely doesn't stand out too much among other bottom ocean dwellers. But scientists have never before been able to ...


Today's Birthday

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Amy Tan (1952)
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTBorn in Oakland, California, to Chinese immigrants, Tan is an award-winning author whose novels focus on the lives of Asian-Americans and the complexities of intergenerational relationships, particularly those of mothers and daughters. Her best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club was based on the tragic experiences of her mother, who had years earlier fled an abusive marriage, though it meant leaving her three daughters behind in Shanghai. When did Tan finally meet her half-sisters? Discuss

Yoko Ono (1933)
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTOno is a Japanese artist, musician, author, and peace activist best known for her marriage to John Lennon of the Beatles. She was raised in Japan and the US, where she started exploring conceptual and performance art. A member of the Fluxus movement, Ono developed a reputation as an avant-garde filmmaker, conceptual artist, performance artist, and experimental musician. Her 1964 Cut Piece, a commentary on identity, gender issues, suffering, and loneliness, invited the audience to do what?

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (1930)
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTBorn in London, Rendell became an author of murder mysteries and psychological thrillers in the 1960s. She has since published dozens of award-winning novels—many featuring her Chief Inspector Wexford—and has been recognized for her sharp prose and psychological insight by both critics and audiences. Originally a journalist, Rendell was fired after writing about a society dinner she did not attend. What notable misfortune, which was absent from Rendell's article, befell the speaker of the event?


Article of the Day

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Rabindranath Tagore
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTTagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, writer, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His writings, which often exhibit rhythmic lyricism, colloquial language, and philosophical contemplation, received worldwide acclaim, and he became Asia's first Nobel laureate in 1913, when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Knighted by the British government in 1915, Tagore resigned the honor 4 years later in protest of what? Discuss

Star Clusters
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTA star cluster is a group of related stars usually held together by gravity. Globular clusters are densely packed groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars. Open clusters are smaller, scattered groups of younger stars. Until recently, astronomers wrestled with a great cosmological mystery: according to theories of stellar evolution, it appeared that some globular clusters were actually older than the universe itself. How was this paradox resolved?

South Africa's "Big Hole"
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTIn 1866, a small, white pebble, which turned out to be a 21-carat diamond, was found on the banks of the Orange River in South Africa. When a second, larger diamond was found in 1871, a diamond rush brought miners to the area by the thousands. Eventually, five big holes were dug, and the largest, known as the "Big Hole," yielded three tons of diamonds before it was closed in 1914. What company, founded during the rush, is now responsible for about 40 percent of the world's diamond production?


Quote of the Day

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Edith Wharton
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTI have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author's political views. Discuss

Henry Fielding
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTI never reasoned on what I should do, but what I had done; as if my Reason had her eyes behind, and could only see backwards.

Charles Dickens
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMTOh, the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called Man! Oh, the little that unhinges it: poor creatures that we are!

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