" Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries!—what worthy man does not keep those in mind? "
William Makepeace Thackeray

Back in the day


Max Planck's Quantum Theory is Born

Considered the inventor of quantum theory, Max Planck shocked the science world by showing that atoms emit or absorb energy in bundles, or quanta, not in a continuous stream as taught by Newtonian physics. This insight, along with subsequent developments by Einstein, Bohr, and others, established the revolutionary quantum theory of modern physics and earned Planck the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1945, Planck's son was executed following a failed attempt to assassinate what political figure?



The Orphanage

Orphanages have existed since the first century. Often depicted in works of fiction as cold, abusive institutions, orphanages largely fell out of favor in the 1950s, following a series of abuse and coercion scandals. Many countries then began to close such facilities in favor of foster care and accelerated adoption, leading to a dramatic rise in the number of citizens from so-called First-World countries that travel to the Third World to adopt. What is the largest remaining orphanage in the US?

Born on a day like today



Nostradamus was a French astrologer and physician reputed to have effected remarkable cures during outbreaks of the Black Plague. His book of prophecies, Les Propheties, consists of vaguely phrased, rhymed quatrains grouped into sets of 100, called "Centuries." Enthusiasts credit Nostradamus with foreseeing the rise of Hitler, the French Revolution, the atomic bomb, and the destruction of the World Trade Center. What do skeptics mean by "retroactive clairvoyance"?

Last updated on Sunday, 14th December 2008

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