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Mark Twain

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Permanent United States Navy Established

The establishment of a permanent US Navy came with the authorization to build six frigates in 1794. Three of these were welcomed into service soon thereafter and distinguished themselves in the War of 1812 by unexpectedly defeating British Royal Navy forces several times. The US Navy currently has nearly 500,000 personnel on active duty or in the Navy Reserve and operates 279 ships in active service and more than 4,000 aircraft. What role did naval power play in the American Civil War?

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Article

Deadly Nightshade

Although deadly nightshade, a perennial herbaceous plant that has bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries, is related to potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants, it is one of the most toxic plants found in the Western Hemisphere. It contains alkaloids that can cause tachycardia, hallucinations, blurred vision, and, in extreme cases, death. Also known as belladonna, meaning "beautiful lady" in Italian, the plant was once used cosmetically by women to enhance the appearance of what feature?

Born on a day like today

Article

Karl Pearson

English scientist and professor of mathematics Karl Pearson was an instrumental figure in the development of mathematical statistics. In 1911, he became professor of eugenics at the University of London and director of the eugenics laboratory. A disciple of Francis Galton, he applied statistical methods to the study of biological problems, especially evolution and heredity, in a science he called biometrics. Today, Pearson's views on eugenics are considered deeply racist. Why?

Last updated on Friday, 27th March 2009

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