" How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice when they will not so much as take warning. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


Treaty of Fredrikshamn Signed

Sweden's loss in the Finnish War marked the end of its significance as a monarchical military power in the region and the beginning of constitutional reform there. As part of the terms of the ensuing treaty, the Swedish government was forced to cede about one-third of its easternmost territory to Russia. The territories in question were declared semi-autonomous, but Russian influence continued to be felt there for many years. The treaty helped lead to the independence of what nation in 1917?



What Lights the Firefly

Commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs, the carnivorous beetles of the family Lampyridae are named for their use of bioluminescence when attracting mates or prey. Fireflies are capable of producing red, yellow, or green "cold light" containing no ultraviolet or infrared rays. Approximately 90% of the energy used in the process is converted to visible light—compared to 10% for incandescent electric bulbs, which emit the remainder of their energy as heat. How do fireflies produce their light?

Born on a day like today


Francisco de Quevedo

Quevedo was a Spanish satirist and novelist and one of the great writers of the Spanish Golden Age. A determined opponent of culteranismo—a writing movement of the Baroque period characterized by the use of as many words as possible to convey little meaning or to conceal meaning—Quevedo championed conceptismo, a movement that aimed to convey multiple meanings in as few words as possible. With what culteranismo writer did Quevedo have an ongoing feud?

Last updated on Wednesday, 17th September 2008

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