" The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years. "
Thomas Hardy

Back in the day


Sten Sture the Younger Mortally Wounded in Battle

Sture was a Swedish statesman and regent of Sweden. When he refused to recognize Christian II of Denmark as king of Sweden, Christian sent a force to aid Sture's rival, Archbishop Gustaf Trolle, whom Sture had deposed and who was besieged in his castle. Sture defeated the Danish army and imprisoned Trolle. Warfare continued, and Sture was killed in battle, but not before he paved the way for Swedish independence, which was attained under Gustavus I. What was done to Sture's body after his death?



Alternative Biochemistry

Theories about extraterrestrial life forms whose biochemistries differ radically from those on Earth have given rise to alternative biochemistry, a speculative science that often appears in works of science fiction. Common examples proposed by scientists in this field include life forms that use elements other than carbon to construct primary cellular structures or those that use solvents other than water. Why is the silicon atom considered a possible basis for an alternative biochemical system?

Born on a day like today


Edgar Allan Poe

Considered one of the most brilliant and original writers in American literature, Poe was a poet, short-story writer, and critic whose skillfully wrought tales and poems convey with passionate intensity the mysterious, dreamlike, and often macabre forces that pervaded his sensibility. He also pioneered the detective fiction genre with stories such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter." What mysterious, six-decade-old tradition at Poe's Baltimore grave was broken in 2010?

Last updated on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

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