" Even in a minute instance, it is best to look first to the main tendencies of Nature. A particular flower may not be dead in early winter, but the flowers are dying; a particular pebble may never be wetted with the tide, but the tide is coming in. "
Gilbert Chesterton

Back in the day


Titanic Released in US Theaters

Before Titanic was released, some film critics predicted that it would be a box office disaster. At the time, it was the costliest film ever made, and production delays had pushed the release date far past the lucrative summer season. Yet by the end of its first weekend, the three-hour-long film was selling out theaters. It won 11 Academy Awards and remained the highest-grossing film in history for 12 years. What important historical fact did the director choose to omit from the film?




Unlike the technique of glassblowing, in which a blob of molten glass is made hollow by blowing into it through a tube, lampworking involves heating small rods of colored glass over a lamp or torch, then shaping the glass with handheld tools. It is used to make glass beads, paperweights, and other small items. The practice developed in Italy during the Renaissance, and in later centuries was used to produce popular trinkets in France. Fumes from vaporized gold can give the glass what color?

Born on a day like today


Mary Livermore

After graduating from a female seminary in 1831 and working as a teacher, Livermore married a Universalist minister and became an activist, lecturer, and popular author. She volunteered with the US Sanitary Commission to aid soldiers of the Union Army during the American Civil War and later promoted women's rights. In 1863, she organized a "Sanitary Fair" that raised a tremendous amount of money for the Commission. What did US President Abraham Lincoln donate for the auction event?

Last updated on Wednesday, 19th December 2012

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