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Abel Tasman Lands in New Zealand

Dutch seafarer and explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to reach New Zealand. After sighting and taking formal possession of Tasmania, Tasman and his crew planned to sail north, but unfavorable winds caused them to turn east and discover the islands of New Zealand. Why did Tasman name the New Zealand bay where his ship anchored Murderers' Bay?



Arecibo Observatory

The world's largest single-aperture telescope, located at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, was completed in 1963. The main collecting dish, built inside the depression left by a karst sinkhole, measures an astonishing 1,000 ft (305 m) in diameter. It is used in 3 major areas of research: radio astronomy, aeronomy, and radar observations of solar system objects. In what year was the Arecibo message, an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life, transmitted from the radio telescope?

Born on a day like today


Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, a 3-time Academy Award winning director, remains one of the most commercially successful filmmakers in the history of US cinema. Spielberg began his career directing for television, but his major success came when he began directing movies. His 1975 film, Jaws, set a domestic box office record, taking in over $100 million. Spielberg later surpassed this record with the films E.T. and Jurassic Park. What 1993 movie earned him his first Academy Award?

Last updated on Tuesday, 18th December 2007

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