" It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you. "
Mark Twain

Back in the day


HMS Victoria Accidentally Rammed and Sunk

The HMS Victoria was a Royal Navy battleship that collided with another Royal Navy battleship, the HMS Camperdown, near Tripoli, Lebanon, during maneuvers. The Victoria capsized and quickly sank, killing 358 crew members, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. In 2004, after a decade-long search, a Lebanese diver located the wreckage in 492 ft (150 m) of water. What is unusual about the orientation of the wreck?




According to the theory of relativity, particles having nonzero rest mass can approach, but not reach, the speed of light, as their mass would become infinite at that speed. On the other hand, particles with zero rest mass, like photons, always travel at the speed of light. Theorists have argued that nothing in principle prohibits the existence of a third class of particles, named tachyons, whose velocity always exceeds that of light. What effect would a loss of energy have on a tachyon's speed?

Born on a day like today


Paul Morphy

Morphy was an American chess player widely considered to have been the world's greatest. He earned a law degree at 18 but was ineligible to practice until 21, so he turned to chess to pass the time. He won the American championship and then beat the European masters, making a name for himself as the unofficial world chess champion. After failing to set up a law practice, he went into seclusion and retired from competitive play. How many opponents could he play simultaneously while blindfolded?

Last updated on Wednesday, 22nd June 2011

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