" There is an ancient saying, famous among men, that thou shouldst not judge fully of a man's life before he dieth, whether it should be called blest or wretched. "

Back in the day


Democratic People's Republic of Korea Established

During the Soviet occupation of North Korea, a Korean communist named Kim Il Sung was selected to lead the new state. Under his leadership, North Korea established Soviet-style regulation of the economy and fought a war with US-backed South Korea. His son, Kim Jong Il, succeeded him after his death in 1994 and replaced the widely used Gregorian calendar with a calendar whose years begin with the birth of his father. According to North Korea's constitution, Kim Il Sung still holds what position?



The Lost Land of Lemuria

Puzzled by the presence of lemur fossils in Madagascar and India—but not in Africa or the Middle East—19th-century geologist Philip Sclater theorized that the two land masses containing the fossils had once been part of a larger, now mostly submerged continent, which he named "Lemuria." Following the scientific community's acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift, however, Sclater's theory was widely dismissed. What is one example of an actual sunken continent?

Born on a day like today


Luigi Galvani

While experimenting with electricity, Galvani, an Italian physicist and physician, noticed that a frog's leg contracted when it was touched with charged metal, an observation that led him to conclude, incorrectly, that animal tissue generates electricity. His research focused attention on electricity in animals, stimulating the study of electrotherapy and electric currents. Today, many terms in electricity are derived from his name. How did his work influence Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?

Last updated on Wednesday, 9th September 2009

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