" Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch. "
Jane Austen

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President Taft Pardons William H. Van Schaick

Over 1,000 people died when the General Slocum, a passenger steamship, caught fire in New York's East River in 1904. It was the city's worst loss-of-life disaster until the attacks of September 11, 2001. Van Schaick, the ship's captain, was indicted for negligence and failure to maintain fire safety equipment and received a 10-year sentence. He was paroled after serving 3½ years in prison and later pardoned by President Taft. Why were most of the passengers unable to escape the fire?

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Axolotl

Found in lakes near Mexico City, axolotls are salamanders affected by a phenomenon called neoteny, which means that adults of the species often fail to undergo metamorphosis and reach reproductive maturity without losing their larval characteristics. They are able to regenerate most body parts and are used extensively in scientific research. Axolotls are also commonly kept as pets in several countries and are considered a delicacy in Mexico. What prevents axolotls from undergoing metamorphosis?

Born on a day like today

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Reggie White

White, an ordained Evangelical Christian minister, was known as the "Minister of Defense" in the National Football League (NFL). At the time of his retirement, White was the NFL's all-time sack leader and had led the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls, including one victory. Two years after his untimely death in 2004, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. How was White affected by a rash of church arsons in the mid-90s?

Last updated on Friday, 19th December 2008

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