" Nothing is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer. "
Jerome K. Jerome

Back in the day


Ill-Fated Apollo 13 Spacecraft Returns to Earth Safely

Less than a year after the first lunar landing, Apollo 13 departed for the moon. Two days into the mission, an oxygen tank exploded, severely damaging the spacecraft's electrical system, and the landing had to be aborted. Despite limited power, loss of cabin heat, a shortage of potable water, and the need to improvise a carbon dioxide removal system, the craft returned safely to Earth. The immortal line from the mission—"Houston, we have a problem"—is a misquote. What was actually said?




Known by many names throughout the Middle East and North Africa, qanats are water management systems used to provide water to human settlements and for irrigation in hot, arid, and semi-arid climates. Qanats are constructed as a series of well-like vertical shafts that tap into subterranean water and are connected by a gently sloping tunnel. Since the destination is lower than the source, the water drains into it by gravity. How were qanats used in ancient times to store ice in the desert?

Born on a day like today


John Pierpont Morgan

The son of a financier, Morgan began his career as an accountant before being named a partner in the firm that became J.P. Morgan and Company. One of the world's most powerful railroad magnates, he formed a syndicate to supply the US Treasury's depleted gold reserves and financed the mergers that formed General Electric and US Steel Corporation—the world's first billion-dollar corporation. In addition to being a noted art collector, Morgan had one of America's most important collections of what?

Last updated on Sunday, 17th April 2011

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