" In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood. "
Henry David Thoreau

Back in the day


World War II: Victory over Japan Day

Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) marks the surrender of Japan, the last Axis power to yield during World War II, and the subsequent end of the war. Though Japan's surrender was announced on August 15, the terms were not signed until September 2. One of the most famous images depicting the joy of V-J Day was shot in Times Square, NY, when Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the moment a sailor embraced a nurse and kissed her. Who were the subjects of this iconic photo?



The Kea

Dubbed "the clown of the mountains," the Kea is an unusual species of parrot found on the South Island of New Zealand. Regarded as a pest by residents and an attraction by tourists, the Kea is known for its curious and playful character and can often be observed flying off with human possessions. About the size of a crow, the Kea is an omnivore that typically feeds on plants, insects, and other birds. Now uncommon, it was once killed for bounty due to its habit of preying on what large mammals?

Born on a day like today


Leon Theremin

In 1919, in the midst of the Russian Civil War, Theremin invented the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin is an electronic device that resonates sound when its operator waves his hands near its two antennas. It was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. Theremin also worked on an early burglar alarm and devised the first covert listening device using passive electromagnetic induction to transmit a signal. What was his role in KGB espionage?

Last updated on Saturday, 15th August 2009

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