" Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes novels. "
P. G. Wodehouse

Back in the day


13th Amendment to US Constitution is Ratified

The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution completed the process of abolishing slavery, which had begun with Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. By December 6, 1865, 27 of the 36 existing states had ratified the 13th Amendment, starting with the state of Illinois. Offenses against this amendment were being prosecuted as late as 1947. Which of the states that initially rejected the 13th Amendment finally ratified it in 1995, 130 years after it was adopted?




Hydras are simple freshwater organisms found in temperate and tropical regions. They are especially interesting to biologists because they undergo morphallaxis when injured, regenerating new body parts to replace dead or damaged tissue. When a hydra is severed in two, for example, its segments reorganize to form two fully functional, independent hydras. Some evidence suggests that hydras are unique among animals in that they do not experience senescence, meaning they do not undergo what process?

Born on a day like today


Kamal Jumblatt

Jumblatt was a Lebanese philosopher, politician, and the traditional leader of the Druze community. He earned multiple degrees at the Sorbonne, wrote prolifically in both Arabic and French, and held ranking positions in government for more than 30 years. In 1949, Jumblatt founded the Druze-backed Progressive Socialist Party. When the Lebanese Civil War began, he was the main opposition leader, and his forces soon controlled nearly 70% of the country. Who was suspected in his 1977 assassination?

Last updated on Sunday, 6th December 2009

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