" Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends? "
George Eliot

Back in the day

History

The Sinking of PT-109

While on patrol in the Pacific during WWII, USS PT-109 was run down by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The much smaller American boat was torn apart by the impact and two seamen perished. The surviving crew, commanded by future US President John F. Kennedy, swam to safety on a nearby island and survived on coconuts for days before Solomon Islanders scouting the area found them. Kennedy's actions made him a war hero. What did he use to send a message to Allies requesting a rescue?

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The Montgolfier Brothers

After discovering that heated air in a lightweight bag would cause the bag to rise, French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-√Čtienne Montgolfier invented a contraption that would come to be known as the hot-air balloon. In 1783, they held the first public demonstration of their invention and, just months later, the first manned free flight. Before humans were sent up in the balloon, a test flight was made using three animals: a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. Why were these animals chosen?

Born on a day like today

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Peter O'Toole

O'Toole, a classical stage actor, debuted in London in 1956 and has since played a variety of Shakespearean roles. Tall and handsome, he catapulted to stardom in 1962 with his portrayal of British Army officer T. E. Lawrence in the desert epic Lawrence of Arabia. He went on to win praise for performances in films ranging from historical drama to high comedy and, though he never won, has been nominated for an Academy Award eight times. Despite this record, he received what award in 2003?

Last updated on Monday, 2nd August 2010

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