Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History

 

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Edgardo Mortara Kidnapped from Jewish Family after Secret Baptism (1858)

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Mortara, the son of a Jewish couple living in the Papal States, was secretly baptized Catholic as an infant by a panicked servant during an infantile illness. The baptism was deemed valid by the Catholic Church and, because canon law forbade non-Christians from raising Christian children, Pope Pius IX ordered the six-year-old Mortara to be taken to Rome as his ward. Several countries objected to the pope's decision and called for the boy to be returned to his parents. What became of Mortara? Discuss


The Hammond Circus Train Wreck (1918)

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

On the morning of June 22, 1918, a locomotive pulling empty passenger cars rear-ended the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus train near Hammond, Indiana. The wreck and subsequent fire—likely ignited by the oil lamps in the circus train's wooden sleeping cars—resulted in 86 deaths and 127 injuries. Most of the dead were buried five days later in a nearby cemetery, their graves marked with nicknames like "Baldy" and "Smiley" since many bodies could not be formally identified. What caused the collision?


SpaceShipOne Completes First Privately Funded Human Spaceflight (2004)

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Unlike its privately funded predecessors, SpaceShipOne was actually manned, by a pilot and two passengers, when it flew to the edge of space in 2004. Developed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the suborbital space plane won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for launching three people—or their weight equivalent—into space twice within two weeks in a privately developed, reusable spacecraft. Where is SpaceShipOne currently on display?



In the News

 

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

University will pay you $3500 to get the flu and book you a 10-day stay at 'Hotel Influenza'

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

University researchers are hoping that $3,500 will convince enough people to risk possibly suffering through a bout of diarrhea, fever, body aches and other flu symptoms in the name of science. The pitch is for volunteers to willingly expose themselves ... Discuss


Honeybees Know A Lot About Nothing

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Humans aren't the only species who can ponder abstract mathematical concepts like nonexistence. Honeybees understand that the number zero is less than 1, according to a new study. Dolphins, African grey parrots and non-human primates also understand ...


These 550-Million-Year-Old Footprints Could Be The Oldest Ever Discovered

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Scientists think they have discovered the 550-million-year-old footprints of a small bug-like animal in the Yangtze Gorges area of China. This critter was roaming the planet millions of years before the first mammals, the first dinosaurs, and even the ...



Today's Birthdays

 

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Wilma Glodean Rudolph (1940)

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field in a single Olympic Games. She accomplished this despite having contracted numerous serious illnesses as a child, including polio, which damaged her leg and required her to wear a brace for some time. At the 1960 Games, she won gold in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and as part of the 4x100 meter relay. She finished the 100-meter dash in world-record time but was not credited with the record. Why? Discuss


Erich Maria Remarque (1898)

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Drafted into the German army at age 18, Remarque served in World War I and was wounded several times. From his experience of trench warfare, he drew a grimly realistic picture of the horror of battle in his first novel and masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front. It was an immediate international success, and Remarque went on to write several other novels. All Quiet on the Western Front was later burned by the Nazis, who guillotined which of his family members in 1943?


Jean-Paul Sartre (1905)

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, and novelist who became the foremost exponent of existentialism in the 20th century. His first novel, Nausea, was one of many works depicting man as a lonely being burdened with a terrifying freedom. He served in World War II, was taken prisoner, escaped, and was involved in the French resistance, during which he wrote multiple works. In 1964, he became the first person to voluntarily decline the Nobel Prize in Literature. Why did he refuse it?



Article of the Day

 

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Wayang Kulit

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Wayang—a classical form of Indonesian puppet theater—has been an important part of the local culture for centuries, with the puppeteers regarded as repositories of moral and aesthetic values. Hindu narratives featured prominently in early wayang. Later, Islamic restrictions against representations of God or gods led to the development of wayang kulit, a style of wayang in which only the shadows of the puppet figures, projected onto a screen, are seen by the audience. What does kulit mean? Discuss


Lilith

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

Likely derived from the Assyrian storm demon Lilitu, Lilith is a female demon of Jewish mythology. In rabbinic literature, she is acknowledged as either Adam's first wife or the mother of his demonic offspring after he separated from Eve outside of Eden. Talmudic sources describe Lilith as a nocturnal creature with many evil attributes, while Jewish folklore paints her as the incarnation of sensual lust and a vampire-like child-killer. What item is said to protect newborn boys from Lilith?


The Bucket Argument

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

In addition to establishing the foundations of classical mechanics and introducing his law of universal gravitation, Isaac Newton's 1687 text The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy explored his rotating bucket argument, which has been studied by scientists for centuries. In it, he opposed the dominant view of motion—devised by Rene Descartes—that space is actually the extension of matter. How did Newton use a hypothetical bucket to try to make his point?



Quotations of the Day

 

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

L. Frank Baum

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

It is worth a lot of bother to be able to think properly. Discuss


Frances Hodgson Burnett

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison.


George Eliot

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT

More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.




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