Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History

 

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Leonard Bernstein Conducts His Final Concert (1990)

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Less than two months before he died, Bernstein, a highly regarded American composer and conductor, conducted what would be his final concert. He had suffered from smoking-related lung problems for years, and his coughing fit partway through the Boston Symphony appearance that night nearly ended the performance. With his health declining, he officially retired in early October, and he died just five days later. What feat in 1943 made him an overnight sensation and set his career in motion? Discuss


Genghis Khan Dies (1227)

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Though infamous for slaughtering entire cities and destroying fields and irrigation systems, Genghis Khan is admired for his military brilliance. The emperor-warrior consolidated nomadic tribes into a unified Mongolia and led them to conquer much of Asia from the Pacific coast to Eastern Europe. He died on a military campaign in China, and the empire was divided. The circumstances of his death are unclear. According to legend, how did his descendants ensure that his grave would remain hidden?


Miles Davis's Kind of Blue Is Released (1959)

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Recorded in just two sessions in the spring of 1959, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is widely considered to be one of the most important jazz albums ever produced. Davis assembled a group of talented musicians—including saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist Bill Evans—and gave them minimal instructions before recording. Possibly the best-selling jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue is notable for having left out something considered to be the backbone of earlier jazz composition—what?



In the News

 

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

The Algae that Terraformed Earth

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

A planetary takeover by ocean-dwelling algae 650 million years ago was the kick that transformed life on Earth. That's what geochemists argue in Nature this week, on the basis of invisibly small traces of biomolecules dug up from beneath the Australian ... Discuss


Scientists Discover 91 Unknown Volcanoes Beneath Ice Sheet in Antarctica

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Scientists have identified 91 volcanoes beneath an ice sheet covering Antarctica's west coast, a study shows. The volcanoes covered in ice stand nearly 3 miles along West Antarctica, possibly making the region denser than east Africa where Mount ...


Rodents Help NASA Take the Next Step to Mars

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

NASA's future deep space exploration – including to Mars – is an unprecedented venture in spaceflight, requiring us to tackle challenges we've never faced before. For instance, we know the human body changes significantly while in space, and we'll need to find ...



Today's Birthdays

 

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Orville Wright (1871)

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Born and raised in Ohio, Orville was four years younger than his brother Wilbur. They were in the bicycle business when they began the aeronautic experiments that led to the first controlled, powered airplane flight in 1903. Wilbur died in 1912, and Orville sold his interest in their company three years later. He later served for 28 years on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a precursor to NASA, before his death in 1948. What toy sparked Orville's interest in flying as a boy? Discuss


Antonio Salieri (1750)

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Italian composer and conductor Antonio Salieri moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1766 with his music teacher, imperial court composer Florian Gassmann. When Gassmann died, Salieri took his position and went on to become Vienna's most popular opera composer for the remainder of the 18th century. Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt were among his most famous students. Though Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were rivals, the story that he poisoned Mozart is likely untrue. How did their rivalry begin?


Mae West (1893)

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

West was an American stage and movie comedienne who started her career in burlesque and vaudeville. In 1926, she began to write, produce, and star in her own Broadway plays, which were often replete with sexual innuendo. A master of the double entendre, she treated sex with broad humor in popular films such as I'm No Angel. As a result, she constantly battled the censorship of the motion picture Production Code. What was dubbed a "Mae West" during World War II?



Article of the Day

 

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Banco Central Burglary at Fortaleza

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

The 2005 Banco Central burglary in Fortaleza, Brazil, was one of the largest bank robberies in history. In one weekend, thieves took nearly four tons of uninsured, non-sequential 50-real notes valued at roughly $70 million. The burglars spent three months tunneling to the vault from a rented house two blocks away. Though the police made several arrests in the case, more than $60 million remains missing. Why weren't neighbors suspicious when they saw vanloads of soil being removed from the house? Discuss


William James Sidis: Child Prodigy

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Sidis was an American child prodigy who could read The New York Times by the time he was 18 months old. By age eight, he had taught himself eight languages and had invented one of his own. It is said that in his adult years he could speak more than 40 languages and learn a new one in a single day. In 1909, he became the youngest person ever to enroll at Harvard College and began lecturing on higher mathematics the following year. What became of Sidis after he graduated in 1914, at age 16?


The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake is a 200-year-old competition held annually in the Cotswolds region of England. Drawing both local and international participants, the race begins when a round of Double Gloucester cheese is set loose at the top of a steep hill. Competitors dash after it, risking sprained ankles, broken bones, and concussions in the chase. Even spectators risk injury, as the cheese reaches speeds of 70 mph (113 km/h). What does the first person over the finish line win?



Quotations of the Day

 

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

George Eliot

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

Perhaps his might be one of the natures where a wise estimate of consequences is fused in the fires of that passionate belief which determines the consequences it believes in. Discuss


Miguel de Cervantes

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

From reading too much, and sleeping too little, his brain dried up on him and he lost his judgment.


Ambrose Bierce

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

I is the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection.




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