" Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable. "
Louisa May Alcott

Back in the day


Outer Space Treaty Signed

The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. It bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes, and forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource, such as the Moon or a planet, on the grounds that they are the common heritage of mankind. What are laser brooms, and why are they not expressly prohibited by the treaty?



Mourning Sickness

Disparaged by critics as the new opiate of the masses, "mourning sickness" is the relatively recent phenomenon of collective public grieving for murder victims and celebrities who have died. Princess Diana's death in 1997 prompted one of the most widespread examples of this in the UK, where makeshift memorials quickly became gathering places for public displays of mourning. The advent of the Internet provided the public with a new forum in which to share their grief. Who was Anna Svidersky?

Born on a day like today


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart is considered one of the greatest composers of European classical music, having written an astonishing number of works in almost every musical genre during his short life. He began touring as a child prodigy and went on to a career in Vienna that was fraught with illness and financial difficulties. Underappreciated in his own time, his gifts for clarity, balance, and chromatic harmony have since inspired countless composers. How old was Mozart when he began composing music?

Last updated on Tuesday, 27th January 2009

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