" Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in the day


The Battle of Wagram Begins

The two-day Battle of Wagram signaled the end of the 1809 War of the Fifth Coalition between the kingdoms of Austria and France. Due to the battle's then-unprecedented use of artillery, both sides suffered tens of thousands of casualties. The Austrians were broken by the battle. Napoleon's victory forced Archduke Charles of Austria to accept unfavorable armistice conditions, stripping Austria of land and subjects. The battle might have ended differently if who had shown up in time?



The Moon Illusion

The Moon illusion is an optical illusion that causes the Moon to appear larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky. It has been pondered since antiquity, and a number of explanations have been proposed. A popular early theory, dating back to at least the 4th century BCE, asserts that the Moon's appearance is magnified by the atmosphere, but photographs have disproven this idea. Scientists today are still unable to fully explain the illusion. What other theories have been proposed?

Born on a day like today


David Glasgow Farragut

Adopted by a naval officer as a child, Farragut began his naval career as a midshipman at age nine. During the US Civil War, he ran his ships past Confederate forts to capture New Orleans. The victory earned him a prominent place in the Union navy. He was again promoted in 1864, after leading a successful assault on a heavily mined Confederate port. Famously, upon losing a ship during the attack, he allegedly cried out "Damn the torpedoes–full speed ahead!" What naval rank was created for him?

Last updated on Thursday, 5th July 2012

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