" Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated. "
Mary Shelley

Back in the day


General Sherman Captures Savannah

In 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman succeeded Ulysses S. Grant as Union commander in the western theater of the American Civil War. Following his soldiers' successful capture of Atlanta, Georgia, Sherman set out on his highly controversial "March to the Sea." The General and his 62,000 men marched from Atlanta to Savannah, implementing a scorched earth policy that left a path of destruction in their wake. What were "Sherman's Neckties" and how did they factor into his strategy of "total war"?



Plasma Lamps

Originally invented by Nikola Tesla to study high voltage phenomena, plasma lamps are now widely available novelty items. The lamps, generally gas-filled orbs, contain an electrode that ionizes the gas, producing beams of colored light. Placing one's hand near such an orb alters its high-frequency electric field, causing a single beam to migrate from the electrode to the point of contact. The radio frequency field produced by the lamps can interfere with the operation of what electronic devices?

Born on a day like today


Jean Racine

Though Racine's work faced many criticisms from his contemporaries, he is now considered one of France's "big three" 17th-century dramatists. His tragedies are a prime example of French classicism, and his Alexandrine verse is considered exceptional in its harmony, simplicity, and elegance. Racine's Andromaque, a tale of enslavement and unrequited love, earned him recognition as France's leading tragic dramatist. What other two dramatists were part of the "big three"?

Last updated on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

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