St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is Venice's principal plaza. Originating in the 9th c as a small area in front of St. Mark's Basilica, the Piazza was enlarged to its present shape and size in 1177. As Venice's central gathering place, it is extremely popular with tourists, pigeons, and photographers. The Piazza is surrounded by a number of historic structures, including the Doge's Palace, Procuraties, and Biblioteca Marciana. What was the purpose of the paved pattern on the Piazza floor?
Back in the day
Lake Nyos is a deep lake high on the flank of an inactive volcano in Cameroon. A pocket of magma lies beneath the lake, charging the water with an estimated 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 1986, a limnic eruption at Lake Nyos triggered the sudden release of about 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 that rushed down nearby valleys, displacing all the air and suffocating up to 1,800 people within 20 km of the lake. What methods are being used to prevent future disasters at the lake?
Born on a day like today
Strummer was the lead singer, guitarist, and principle songwriter for The Clash, a British rock band. The Clash was instrumental in ushering in the age of punk rock music in the late 1970s and was the most musically diverse and overtly political of the original English punk bands. Strummer was involved with Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism campaigns. He was also known for his devotion to his fans, often signing autographs for hours after his performances. What caused his untimely death?