" All things are admired either because they are new or because they are great. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


United States Launches Explorer I

Explorer I was the first American satellite. It was launched four months after the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, was put into orbit by the Soviet Union, beginning the so-called space race. Although it carried a number of instruments, Explorer I was relatively small, weighing just 30 lbs (13 kg). It stopped transmission of data later in 1958, when its batteries died, but remained in orbit for more than 12 years. Where did it make its fiery reentry?




Masks have been worn since the Stone Age, chiefly to impersonate supernatural beings or animals in ceremonies but also for theatrical and practical purposes. In ancient Egypt, Asia, and the Inca civilization, death masks were used to facilitate the spirit's journey in the afterlife. In ancient Greece, masks were used in the theater to represent specific characters, portray emotion, and amplify the speaker's voice. Why did some doctors in the Middle Ages wear beaked masks?

Born on a day like today


Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson

Robinson, a vocal member of the Civil Rights movement, was the first African-American baseball player in the modern major leagues and the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1949, he led the National League in both stolen bases and batting average and was named its most valuable player. In recognition of his accomplishments both on and off the field, Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number in 1997. How many times did he "steal home" during his career?

Last updated on Tuesday, 31st January 2012

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