A hermaphrodite is an animal or plant that has both male and female reproductive systems. The term derives from Greek mythology—Hermes and Aphrodite's son Hermaphroditus possessed physical traits of both sexes after fusing with a nymph. Hermaphroditism is quite common in flowering plants and in invertebrates like snails. "Hermaphrodite" has also been used to describe humans with both male and female genital tissues but is now considered misleading and stigmatizing. What term is preferred?
Jerome K. Jerome
Back in the day
Born Erik Weisz, Harry Houdini was an American magician and escape artist. He was famous for escaping from locks, handcuffs, straitjackets, and even sealed chests underwater, thanks to his incredible strength, agility, and skill at manipulating locks. His strength likely carried him through his last performance on October 24, 1926, while suffering from acute appendicitis. He was hospitalized and died on October 31. What strange occurrence in his dressing room contributed to his death?
Born on a day like today
Though she was a writer for all of her adult life, Barney is not widely known today for her poetry, plays, novels, or epigrams. Instead, she is remembered for her strong support of female writers and for her openness about her homosexuality. For more than 60 years, she hosted an international salon at her Paris home. The well-attended gatherings frequently featured women's works. She also wrote proudly about her love of women in a way that few, if any, had since what 6th-century BCE Greek poet?