" We were at last in Monte Cristo's country, fairly into the country of the fabulous, where extravagance ceases to exist because everything is extravagant, and where the wildest dreams come true. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Nuclear Reactor at Chernobyl Plant Explodes

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is regarded as the worst nuclear accident in history. Radioactive debris from the disaster drifted across parts of the western Soviet Union, Europe, and eastern North America. Large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people and a disputed number of deaths. What caused the accident?



The Potsdam Conference

Held in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945, the Potsdam Conference was a meeting between representatives of the three principal Allies in WWII—the US, UK, and USSR. Although the summit was largely devoted to establishing post-war order after the surrender of Nazi Germany, the Allies also used it as an opportunity to issue a statement outlining terms for Japan's surrender and threatening "prompt and utter destruction" if Japan failed to comply. Why was Stalin late to the conference?

Born on a day like today


Charles Richter

Richter was an American seismologist most famous for creating the Richter magnitude scale, which quantifies the size of earthquakes by assigning each quake a single number based on the measurement of seismic waves. The scale is logarithmic, so the amplitude of the waves increases by powers of 10 in relation to the Richter magnitude numbers. Numbers for the Richter scale range from 0 to 9, though no real upper limit exists. What earthquake measurement method succeeded the Richter scale?

Last updated on Sunday, 26th April 2009

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