" To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. "
Jane Austen

Back in the day


Galileo Galilei Discovers Three of Jupiter's Four Largest Moons

Jupiter has more than 60 moons. The four largest—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—were the first satellites of a planet other than Earth to be detected. They were discovered by Galileo in 1610, shortly after he invented the telescope, and are therefore known as the Galilean satellites. On January 7, 1610, Galileo observed near Jupiter what he described at the time as "three fixed stars, totally invisible by their smallness." How long did it take Galileo to realize they were not stars?



Emelian Ivanovich Pugachev

Pugachev was a Russian peasant leader and head of the peasant rebellion of 1773 to 1774. A Don Cossack, he exploited a widespread peasant belief that Peter III had not actually been murdered. Claiming to be Peter III, he soon found himself at the head of an army and of a revolutionary movement. His army won early victories and threatened the throne of Catherine II, but Pugachev was betrayed, taken to Moscow, and beheaded. What actions did Catherine take in the aftermath of the rebellion?

Born on a day like today


Zora Neale Hurston

An anthropologist, folklorist, and author, Hurston spent much of her life collecting African-American folktales in the rural South and in other places, such as Haiti, Bermuda, and Honduras. She was a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance and collaborated with her friend Langston Hughes on the play Mule Bone in 1931. Along with her folklore collections, she also wrote four novels, including the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God. Why did the book inspire controversy?

Last updated on Saturday, 7th January 2012

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