" Words are but wind; and learning is nothing but words; ergo, learning is nothing but wind. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


World War II: Victory over Japan Day

Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) celebrates the surrender of Japan, the last Axis power to yield during WWII, and the subsequent end of the war. Though Japan's surrender was announced on Aug 15, the terms were not signed until Sept 2. One of the most famous images depicting the joy of V-J Day was shot in Times Square, NY, when Alfred Eisenstaedt, photographing for Life magazine, captured the moment a sailor embraced a nurse and kissed her. Who were the subjects of this iconic photo?



Flying Squirrels

There are 43 known species of flying squirrel. While the name flying squirrel is a bit of a misnomer—the creatures cannot actually fly—they are able to glide long distances by leaping from tall heights and extending flaps of skin, called patagia, that stretch from their forelimbs to their hindlimbs. Once airborne, the squirrels have a high degree of maneuverability and are able to steer by adjusting the tautness of the patagia and using their tails as stabilizers. How do they "brake"?

Born on a day like today


Leon Theremin

In 1919, in the midst of the Russian Civil War, Theremin invented the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin is an electronic device that resonates sound when its operator waves his hands near its two antennas. It was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. Theremin also worked on an early burglar alarm and devised the first covert listening device using passive electromagnetic induction to transmit a signal. What was his role in KGB espionage?

Last updated on Friday, 15th August 2008

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