" Alas, how quickly the gratitude owed to the dead flows off, how quick to be proved a deceiver. "

Back in the day


Treaty of Portsmouth Ends Russo-Japanese War

The Russo-Japanese War—fought over territorial claims in East Asia—was a costly endeavor both monetarily and in terms of lives lost, and both sides soon realized the need for peace. With US President Theodore Roosevelt acting as a mediator, Russian and Japanese representatives met at a US naval base near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The resulting treaty marked the temporary decline of Russian power in East Asia and the emergence of Japan as a regional power. What territory did both agree to cede?



Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays—sometimes called God Rays or Jacob's Ladder—are streaks of light radiating from the sun. Usually occurring around daybreak or sunset, they shine through breaks in the clouds or through irregular spaces along the horizon and are made visible by particles in the air. Though crepuscular rays are nearly parallel, they appear to fan out from the sun due to perspective. Anticrepuscular rays are less easy to spot and differ from their crepuscular counterparts in what way?

Born on a day like today


Arthur Koestler

Born in Hungary, Koestler was an influential Communist journalist in Berlin in the 1930s. He was captured by fascist forces while on assignment during the Spanish Civil War and was later held in a concentration camp after the German invasion of France. In 1940, inspired by his break with Communism, he published his most important novel, Darkness at Noon, an examination of the moral dangers of totalitarianism. How did the terminally ill Koestler show his support for voluntary euthanasia?

Last updated on Wednesday, 5th September 2012

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