" Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live. "
Gustave Flaubert

Back in the day


Federal Emergency Declared at Love Canal in New York

In the 1940s and 50s, an abandoned canal in Niagara Falls, New York, became a dumping ground for chemical waste. It was later filled in, and after the land was given to the city of Niagara Falls by the chemical company, houses and an elementary school were built there. By the late 1970s, toxic chemicals had risen to the surface, and residents were found to have a high incidence of chromosome damage. A federal emergency was declared in 1978, and residents were evacuated. What happened to them?



Academic Fencing

Academic fencing is a traditional form of sword-fighting practiced primarily by members of college fraternities in German-speaking countries. During a bout, or mensur, participants exchange blows without moving their feet. Flinching or dodging is not allowed, as the aim is less to avoid injury than to endure it stoically. While protective clothing makes serious injury rare in modern bouts, facial wounds are common, and the scars are seen as a badge of honor. How does one win such a match?

Born on a day like today


Emil Nolde

Nolde was a German painter and printmaker. Fervently religious, he often painted supernatural imagery, such as demonic heads and mystic appearances. Impressed by the art he saw on a 1913 expedition to the East Indies, he began to paint brooding landscapes and colorful flowers. As a printmaker, he was noted for his crudely cut, stark black-and-white woodcuts. Though he was an early advocate of the Nazi party, the party condemned his art and forbade him to paint. What did he do instead?

Last updated on Tuesday, 7th August 2012

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