Panspermia is the hypothesis that life originated elsewhere in the universe and spread to Earth, and perhaps other places, on objects like asteroids. Astrobiologists, who investigate the possibility of life in space, point out that some microorganisms can, in fact, survive in space but that the long distances between planets would make surviving an interplanetary trip quite difficult, even for extremophiles. What tiny invertebrate was sent into orbit and survived exposure to the vacuum of space?
Back in the day
"Casey at the Bat" was one of the most popular poems in late 19th-century America. Recited in vaudeville performances and later taken up by many celebrities, the poem tells the story of an overconfident baseball player—the "mighty Casey"—who strikes out while trying to show off. Ernest Thayer, who wrote the poem, avoided acknowledging authorship for many years because he thought it was embarrassingly bad. Which two real-life towns have laid claim to being the Mudville mentioned in the poem?
Born on a day like today
Dufy was a French designer and painter best known for his outdoor scenes of gaiety and leisure, like horse races, parades, and concerts. He also designed textiles and illustrated books. Dufy studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and experimented with Impressionism and, later, Fauvism. In the early 1920s, he developed his distinctive style characterized by sketchily drawn objects on bright, decorative backgrounds. Later, he completed one of the largest modern paintings, an ode to what?