" There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted. "
Sun Tzu

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History

The Great Hinckley Fire

A months-long drought, elevated summer temperatures, and certain logging practices set the stage for what would become one of the deadliest fires in Minnesota's history. On September 1, 1894, several small fires in the forests of Pine County merged and grew into a firestorm that completely consumed six towns, including Hinckley, Mission Creek, and Brook Park, within hours. At least 418, and as many as 800, people were killed in the inferno. How did some residents manage to escape?

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Phage Therapy

Bacteriophages, complex viruses that infect bacteria, were first discovered in the early 20th century. Phage therapy soon emerged as a possible treatment for bacterial infections, including epidemic diseases, but this approach was largely abandoned after the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s. More recently, the increasing threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria has led to renewed interest in phage therapy. For what use did the US Food and Drug Administration approve bacteriophages in 2006?

Born on a day like today

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Engelbert Humperdinck

Perhaps best known for his name, Humperdinck was a German composer considered by some to be Richard Wagner's chosen successor. Though he produced his first composition at age seven, Humperdinck's parents urged him to study architecture. Instead, he began working with Wagner and winning awards for his compositions. Humperdinck's most famous work is his first opera, Hänsel und Gretel, popular for its fairy-tale subject and folk-inspired music. For whom did he compose its first four songs?

Last updated on Sunday, 1st September 2013

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