The recently published book Between a Rock and a Hard Place chronicles the experiences of Aron Ralston, an American mountain climber who survived a nearly fatal hike in the Utah desert. While Ralston was canyoneering alone in May 2003, his right forearm became trapped by a falling boulder. Unable to lift the rock, Ralston was forced to amputate his own arm in order to free himself. How many days did Ralston wait before beginning the terrible operation?
Back in the day
Pluto was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona while he was searching for "Planet X," a hypothetical planet that was believed to exist beyond Neptune. Pluto was long regarded as a planet, but following the discovery of other, larger Kuiper belt objects, astronomers recognized the need to reclassify Pluto. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ended official recognition of Pluto as a planet. What is Pluto's current classification?
Born on a day like today
Morrison is an African-American writer and former editor for Random House whose work has helped bring African-American literature into the mainstream. In 1988, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, which is now included in the canon of American literature, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Her fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, and emotional intensity. Why did she call Bill Clinton "the first Black president," causing a stir?