" I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble. "
Rudyard Kipling

Back in the day


First Serving Female British MP Elected

Nancy Witcher Astor, or Viscountess Astor, was the second woman elected to the British Parliament's House of Commons and the first to actually serve. She was a Conservative member who concentrated on women's issues, temperance, and child welfare. Astor attracted a great deal of attention, much of it for her caustic and witty comments, and was reelected many times, serving until 1945. When she said to Winston Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd put arsenic in your coffee," how did he respond?



Wave Power

Wave power is a form of renewable energy that may be harnessed for use in electricity generation. Capturing the energy of ocean surface waves and converting it into a useable form of electrical energy is a difficult task, and a major technological breakthrough is necessary if wave power is ever to contribute significantly to the world's energy needs. Salter's Duck, invented in 1974, remains the device against which all other wave energy systems are measured. Why has the Duck never gone to sea?

Born on a day like today


Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claude Lévi-Strauss is best known as the founder of structural anthropology, a theory that stresses the interdependence of cultural systems and the way they relate to one another. He theorized that culture is a system of symbolic communication that, like phonemic differences in language, owes its meaning to structure. Borrowing heavily from contemporary linguistics, his theory was a major departure from earlier "functionalist" theories. What role does the incest taboo play in his theory?

Last updated on Wednesday, 28th November 2007

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