" Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue. "
Edith Wharton

Back in the day


Director Skips Bail and Flees to France

Renowned director Roman Polanski's films are marked by depictions of dramatic, sexually charged situations, alienation, and black humor. Born in Paris and educated in Poland, he moved to Hollywood in 1968 to pursue his filmmaking career. His pregnant wife was murdered by the Manson "family" shortly thereafter, and, in 1978, he fled to France to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to statutory rape. A survivor of the Holocaust, he recently received an Academy Award for what film set in WWII?



Parietal Eyes

Lizards, frogs, lampreys, and some fish species possess a unique organ known as a third, or parietal, eye. Though referred to as an "eye," this photoreceptive organ does not "see" in the same way that a standard eye does. Instead, it uses a different biochemical method of detecting light than normal eyes and helps regulate circadian rhythms and hormone production for thermoregulation. The parietal eye is associated with what gland that humans, too, possess?

Born on a day like today


Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin became Russia's first democratically elected president in 1991. A populist advocate of radical reform, he embarked on a program of "shock therapy" just days after the dissolution of the USSR, converting the world's largest socialist planned economy into a market-oriented capitalist one. The skyrocketing prices, heavy taxes, and credit crunch that followed produced a protracted depression that devastated Russia. How, then, did Yeltsin manage to win a second term in 1996?

Last updated on Monday, 1st February 2010

More sponsors