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Back in the day


Lei Áurea: Slavery Abolished in Brazil

By the 1870s, the plantation culture of northeast Brazil was already crumbling, and the growth of the movement to abolish slavery threatened it even more. The slave trade had been abolished in 1850, and a law for gradual emancipation was passed in 1871. In 1888, while Pedro II was in Europe and his daughter Isabel was governing, slavery was completely abolished—making Brazil the last Western nation to do so. The law that officially abolished slavery was called Lei Áurea, which means what?



Slugs, Parsecs, and Other Units of Measure

Sometimes, scientists use unusual units of measure when conventional units prove impractical. For example, in physics, a slug is the unit of mass that is accelerated at the rate of one foot per second per second when acted on by a force of one pound. In astronomy, a parsec is a unit of length for interstellar distances, equal to 206,265 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun—3.26 light-years or about 19 million million miles (3.08 × 1013 km). What are some other unusual units of measure?

Born on a day like today


Beatrice "Bea" Arthur

Arthur was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose lengthy career began on the stage. In 1966, she won a Tony award for her role in the musical Mame. She went on to achieve fame on television as the character Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family and Maude and as Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, winning Emmy Awards for both roles. Arthur appeared in what notoriously poorly received 1978 holiday TV special?

Last updated on Friday, 13th May 2011

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