Song Yingxing was a Chinese scientist who authored an encyclopedia covering a wide variety of technical subjects during the late Ming Dynasty. Published in 1637, Tiangong Kaiwu—Exploitation of the Works of Nature—was divided into chapters with broad themes, including agriculture, transportation, papermaking, and the use of gunpowder weapons. Although other encyclopedias had been previously published, Tiangong Kaiwu was distinguished by its substantial inclusion of what?
Back in the day
Martha Corey was a Massachusetts woman hanged for the crime of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. A pious churchgoer, she had refused to confess but was convicted anyway. Her husband, Giles Corey, was also eventually accused but refused to enter a plea at his trial. In an attempt to make him enter a plea, he was pressed beneath an increasingly heavy load of stones. He died two days before his wife's execution. What did Giles reportedly reply each time he was asked for his plea?
Born on a day like today
Praised for his highly imaginative and original writings, Golding was a British author whose works focus on the eternal nature of man. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983 and was knighted in 1988. In his best-known work, the allegorical Lord of the Flies, he described the nightmarish adventures of a group of English schoolboys stranded on an island and traced their degeneration from a state of innocence to blood lust and savagery. What else did he write?