" A most paradoxical mixture of sound and silence pervades the shady parts of the wood. The noise from the insects is so loud...; yet within the recesses of the forest a universal silence appears to reign. "
Charles Darwin

Back in the day


Iran Hostage Crisis Begins

In 1979, an Islamic revolutionary government overthrew Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi of Iran. When the exiled shah was admitted to the US for medical treatment, a crowd of about 500 seized the US embassy in Tehran, demanding the shah's extradition. US President Jimmy Carter halted Iranian oil imports and froze Iranian assets, but his diplomatic initiatives proved fruitless, and a US rescue mission failed. Fifty-two hostages were held for 444 days until the end of the crisis in 1981. How did it end?



The Bunyip

The bunyip is a legendary monster said to inhabit swamps and lagoons of the Australian interior. Its name comes from a word meaning "evil-spirit" in Wemba-wemba, an Aboriginal language of southeast Australia. Descriptions of the bunyip vary widely. In most stories, it appears as a giant starfish-like creature, but it is also described in many accounts as having a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks. What phenomena could have given rise to the bunyip myth?

Born on a day like today


Guido Reni

Reni was an Italian painter and engraver. He was apprenticed to Flemish painter Denis Calvaert as a boy and by 23 had been commissioned by the government to execute decorative frescoes for the facade of the Palazzo Pubblico. Shortly thereafter, he made the first of his many trips to Rome, where he executed many important commissions, including the celebrated ceiling fresco Aurora. Reni became a rival of what painter, whose style and technique influenced some of his most famous works?

Last updated on Friday, 4th November 2011

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