Sigurd is a hero of German and Old Norse mythology noted for his strength and courage. He is one of the heroes of the Poetic Edda, the epic poem Nibelungenlied, where he is known as Siegfried, and Wagner's operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung. He figures in many different and sometimes inconsistent legends and is said to have slain a dragon, won an accursed hoard of gold, and married a princess. What parallels can be drawn between Sigurd and the Greek hero Achilles?
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!
Back in the day
In January 1898, the USS Maine was sent to protect American interests in Cuba, where an anti-Spanish insurrection was taking place. It sank weeks later, after an onboard explosion. Fueled by the conspiracy theories of American yellow journalism, outrage over the deaths of 260 of the ship's crew members helped push the nation toward the Spanish-American War. Several investigations into the sinking have since taken place, including one that was conducted in 1998. What were its findings?
Born on a day like today
Bentham was a British moral philosopher and legal theorist. A precocious student, he graduated from Oxford at age 15. In his writings, he became the earliest expounder of utilitarianism—the theory that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its usefulness in bringing about the greatest happiness for all those affected by it. His work inspired much reform legislation, especially regarding prisons. What was done with Bentham's body after his death, in accordance with his will?