In dharmic religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, mudras are symbolic gestures of the hands and fingers used in ceremonies, dance, and art. Each is associated with a specific quality, such as knowledge, that is said to be imparted on the practitioner. Mudras often accompany the vocalization of a mantra, or sacred utterance, and act as a kind of ceremonial seal affirming the statement or prayer. Which mudra expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts?
Back in the day
Wallace was a Scottish knight who, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, led a resistance movement against the English occupation. He was betrayed to the English by a Scottish knight in 1305, found guilty of treason, and hanged, drawn, and quartered. Much of what is known about his life is based on legend and the poem The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, written by 15th-century minstrel Blind Harry. What 1995 film starring Mel Gibson depicts Wallace's life?
Born on a day like today
Cuvier was a renowned French naturalist and zoologist considered the founder of comparative anatomy and paleontology. He is well known as the most influential early 19th-century proponent of catastrophism, which proposes the theory that major changes in the Earth result from catastrophes rather than evolutionary processes. He showed that species can become extinct, and he opposed early evolutionary theories. What extinct flying reptile did Cuvier identify and name?