" As long as war is regarded as wicked it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. "
Oscar Wilde

Back in the day


Magellan Space Probe Reaches Venus

The first planetary spacecraft to be launched from a space shuttle, Magellan took 15 months to reach its destination, arriving in orbit around the second planet from the Sun in August 1990. It was then put to work generating high-resolution maps of Venus's surface and measuring the planet's gravity. Four years later, with its mission complete, Magellan plunged into Venus's tremendously dense atmosphere and disintegrated. What do Magellan's images reveal about the planet?



The Taiga

Comprising about a third of the world's forest land, the taiga is a vast belt of coniferous forest stretching across northern Eurasia and North America. Bounded by the treeless tundra to the north, it has a short annual growing season and long, harsh winters. Soil in the taiga is poor, and swampy areas form in the spring. Only hardy cereals and roots, such as potatoes and barley, can be cultivated there. Still, it is a major source of lumber. What adaptations help plants and animals live there?

Born on a day like today


Henri Nestlé

Born in Germany, Nestlé was the 11th of 14 children—only half of whom survived to adulthood. After apprenticing to a pharmacist in the 1830s, he began to work on an infant food that could serve as a substitute for breast milk for struggling babies. Combining milk, flour, and sugar, he created the first commercial infant formula and founded what is today the largest processed foods company in the world. The Nestlé company logo is derived from the family coat of arms, which includes what image?

Last updated on Friday, 10th August 2012

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