A Brocken specter is an optical phenomenon sometimes seen at high altitudes, when the observer is between the sun and a mass of clouds. The figures of the observer and surrounding objects are seen projected on the clouds, greatly enlarged and often encircled by a colorful halo. The phenomenon, named after a peak in Germany's Harz Mountains where it is often observed, can be seen on misty mountainsides, in cloud banks, and even from airplanes. What causes these shadows to appear so magnified?
Back in the day
Often remembered as a tyrant who played the fiddle while watching Rome burn, Nero was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Though few surviving sources treat him favorably, some portray him as a competent emperor who was popular with the Roman people. In 68 CE, a military coup drove Nero into hiding, where he reportedly stabbed himself to avoid facing execution at the hands of the Roman Senate. Why do historians claim that the legend of Nero and his fiddle is false?
Born on a day like today
McNamara served as the US Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968. He was offered the post less than five weeks after being named president of the Ford Motor Company. As Secretary, he shifted US military strategy away from heavy reliance on nuclear weaponry and strengthened conventional fighting capacity. He initially supported the escalation of the Vietnam War, but his growing doubts led him to resign from the cabinet. He then became the president of what international organization?