" There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents...and only one for birthday presents, you know. "
Lewis Carroll

Back in the day


Ayatollah Khomeini Calls for the Execution of Author Salman Rushdie

When British-Indian author Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was published in 1988, it received much critical acclaim, but it was also the subject of intense controversy within the Muslim community due to its allegedly blasphemous content. Particularly outraged was Iran's political and religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a call for Rushdie's execution. What misunderstanding about the book's title, as translated into Arabic, may have contributed to the crisis?




Also known as fairy chimneys, hoodoos are tall, thin columns of rock that are left behind when everything else around them erodes, making them a strikingly conspicuous feature of the landscape. Sheltered from erosion by a cap of hard rock, they can be up to 10 stories tall. Because they may be composed of layers of rock that vary in density and thus erode at differing rates, they may take on a "totem pole" appearance. What location boasts the highest concentration of hoodoos in the world?

Born on a day like today


Anna Howard Shaw

Some feminists observe Shaw's birthday in place of Valentine's Day, celebrating her legacy as a leading American suffragist, doctor, and lecturer. During World War I, she coordinated women's activities in the war effort, becoming the first woman to earn the Distinguished Service Medal. After becoming a close confidante of Susan B. Anthony, Shaw worked as one of the most effective speakers of the suffrage movement. She was also a minister who became the first woman to be ordained by what church?

Last updated on Thursday, 14th February 2013

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