" You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches tolerance. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


The Barber of Seville's Disastrous Debut

In 1816, Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini produced The Barber of Seville, based on the comedy by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais. Though Rossini created much of the opera's music in just weeks, it resounds with his brilliant arias, ensemble numbers, and famous crescendos. Still, several on-stage accidents and constant jeers from the audience, likely spurred by supporters of one of Rossini's rivals, made its debut in Rome a disaster. What happened during the second performance?




A portmanteau of the words "architecture" and "ecology," arcology refers to a set of architectural principles concerning the design of enormous habitats meant to accommodate an extremely high human population density. These largely hypothetical "hyperstructures" are designed to contain a variety of residential, commercial, and agricultural facilities intended to minimize individual human environmental impact. What existing structures incorporate principles of arcology in their design?

Born on a day like today


Kurt Cobain

Cobain formed the rock trio Nirvana in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, in 1986. The group's second album, Nevermind, featured the iconic hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and was the first punk-oriented album to achieve popularity with a mainstream audience. However, Cobain railed against his fame in Nirvana's next album, In Utero. Known for his self-destructive behavior and heroin use, he committed suicide in 1994. What tribute to Cobain is featured on a sign in his hometown?

Last updated on Sunday, 20th February 2011

More sponsors