The dihydrogen monoxide hoax utilizes an uncommon scientific name for molecules composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to demonstrate how the lack of scientific literacy combined with an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears. The hoax points out that dihydrogen monoxide "is the major component of acid rain," "may cause severe burns," "contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape," and "accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals." What is dihydrogen monoxide?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Back in the day
The largest battleship ever constructed, the Yamato was the lead ship of the Yamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. After taking part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Yamato was sunk during Operation Ten-Go, the last major Japanese naval operation in the Pacific Theater, while on its way to face the Allied fleet at Okinawa. How did the Allies know about the planned attack?
Born on a day like today
Born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, Mistral was a Chilean poet who combined writing with a career as a cultural minister, diplomat, and professor. She established her reputation as a poet in 1914, when she won a prize for "Sonetos de la Muerte"—"Sonnets of Death." Her passionate lyrics, with love of children and of the downtrodden as principal themes, are collected in many volumes. In 1945, Mistral became the first Latin American to be honored in what way?