" Affection is the broadest basis of good in life. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


First Successful Escape from an Aircraft Using the Ejection Seat

Ejection seats are used in aircraft to quickly propel occupants out in an emergency. Today, they are fired by an explosive charge, but the first ejection seats were powered by compressed air. One of the first aircrafts to be fitted with such a system was the German Heinkel He 280 prototype jet fighter. While testing the He 280 during WWII, pilot Helmut Schenk became the first person to use an ejection seat to make an emergency escape from an aircraft. What went wrong during his test flight?



The Angora Rabbit

A popular pet of 18th-century French royalty, the Angora rabbit is a striking-looking variety of domestic rabbit that resembles a large, fluffy snowball. Its long, silky wool is valued for its softness and fluffiness and is often used in knit apparel like sweaters. It is important that these rabbits are regularly groomed and have their wool harvested; otherwise their coats can become matted or be ingested by the animal and cause digestive problems. How big can Angora rabbits get?

Born on a day like today


Antoinette Bourignon

Bourignon was a Flemish Christian mystic. After spending a short time in a convent and as head of an orphanage, she gathered a fanatical following at Amsterdam, believing herself divinely directed to restore the pure spirit of the Gospel. Moving from place to place, she took her printing press with her and disseminated her teachings. Her mystical ideas found particular favor in Scotland, where Bourignianism was declared a heresy. Why did Bourignon flee her home in 1636?

Last updated on Friday, 13th January 2012

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