" All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea—whether it is to sail or to watch it—we are going back from whence we came. "
John F. Kennedy

Back in the day


Girolamo Savonarola Executed for Heresy

Savonarola was an Italian preacher and religious reformer. After the overthrow of the Medici family, he became the ruler of Florence, setting up a democratic but severely puritanical government. He was opposed by the allies of the Medici and by Pope Alexander VI, who attempted to restrain Savonarola's unusual interpretations of scripture and his claim of prophecy. He was tried, convicted of heresy, and hanged. His government was known for its "bonfire of the vanities," which was what?




Existing only in theory, a vacuum is space without matter in it. The most nearly perfect vacuum exists in intergalactic space, which is estimated to contain less than one molecule per cubic meter. By comparison, air at sea level contains about 30 billion billion molecules per cubic centimeter. Several kinds of pumps have been devised for removing the molecules from a space, but even the best man-made vacuums still contain matter. What eight-legged creature can survive for days in a vacuum?

Born on a day like today


Artie Shaw

Considered one of swing's two great clarinetists—along with his rival, Benny Goodman—Shaw was a virtuoso at his instrument. He began playing professionally as a teen before becoming leader of one of the most popular big bands of the swing era. In 1935, he performed with a string quartet that he later expanded into a more conventional dance band. He led a US Navy band during World War II and various ensembles later on, retiring in 1954. How many times was Shaw married?

Last updated on Monday, 23rd May 2011

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