" Backbite, v.t.: To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you. "
Ambrose Bierce

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Established

NASA is an agency of the US government charged with aeronautics research and the nation's civilian space program. During its history, it has been responsible for manned trips to the Moon, orbiting observatories, and unmanned programs that explored other planets and interplanetary space. Today, its goals include improving human understanding of the universe and establishing a permanent human presence in space. NASA was created by an act of Congress passed largely in response to what 1957 event?

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The He Shi Bi

The He Shi Bi is a piece of jade that features prominently in Chinese history. According to legend, a man named Bian He found a large stone that he believed contained jade in the hills of Chu. He presented it to the king and later to his successor, but they disbelieved the man's claims and had his legs cut off as punishment. Finally, he presented it to a third king, who recognized the stone's potential and had it sculpted into an incomparable disk of jade. What was the disk made into in 221 BCE?

Born on a day like today

Article

Alexis de Tocqueville

Tocqueville was a French political scientist, historian, and politician. Born into an aristocratic family with ties to the king, his future in government was jeopardized by a revolution in 1830. To distance himself from the trying political situation at home, he embarked on a government-sanctioned mission to the US. Out of it came his best-known work, Democracy in America—the first analytical study of the strengths and weaknesses of US society. What conclusions did Tocqueville draw in it?

Last updated on Friday, 29th July 2011

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