" November, n.: The eleventh twelfth of a weariness. "
Ambrose Bierce

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"Malaysian Haze" Prompts State of Emergency Declaration

For a week in 2005, a choking, smog-like haze brought the central part of peninsular Malaysia to a standstill. Air quality was so poor that a state of emergency was declared in the district of Kuala Selangor and the country's major shipping center, Port Klang. Residents were instructed to stay home, and schools were closed. Only supermarkets and essential services remained open. Miraculously, Kuala Lumpur's main airport was unaffected. What was identified as the primary cause of the haze?

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Whale Falls

Whale carcasses that have sunk to the sea floor are known in the scientific community as whale falls. Around them spring up complex localized ecosystems, which feed off the rich sustenance they provide for decades. The phenomenon was accidentally discovered in 1987 by a team of University of Hawaii oceanographers, who were exploring the ocean depths with a robotic submersible. Many previously unknown species have since been discovered at whale falls. Which organisms thrive in this environment?

Born on a day like today

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Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

A German patriot and educator at a time when Europe was actively trying to free itself from Napoleonic rule, Jahn founded a gymnastic society, Turnverein, to build strength and fellowship among young people as well as help foster a nationalistic spirit among members. After Napoleon's defeat, German leaders came to view the once-sanctioned organization as a threat and had its founder arrested in 1819 and a national ban placed on gymnastics. What now-standard gymnastics equipment did Jahn invent?

Last updated on Sunday, 11th August 2013

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