Melanism is the dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers due to a high concentration of the pigment melanin. A classic example is the panther—which is actually a black leopard. However, melanism has several variations. Pseudo-melanism occurs when dark markings cover a large part of an animal's body, while industrial melanism results in dark varieties of animals that need camouflage in smoke-blackened industrial regions. What insect is commonly associated with industrial melanism?
Back in the day
February 15, 1961, was a dark day in figure skating history. On that day, 72 people, including all 18 members of the US Figure Skating team and 16 family members, coaches, and skating officials, died when their flight from New York to Brussels went down in a field just miles from its destination. A farm worker on the ground also perished. The skaters had been en route to the 1961 World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. What did the event's organizers do to honor the dead athletes?
Born on a day like today
Gies was one of five heroic Dutch citizens who helped hide Otto Frank, his wife and daughters, and four other Jews from the Nazis during the occupation of the Netherlands. After the hidden Jews were betrayed to the Gestapo in 1944, Gies took Otto's daughter Anne's diary, and kept it—unread—in hopes of someday returning it to her. After the war, Gies gave the now-famous diary to the only surviving member of the family, Otto. Why did she later say that had she read it, she would have destroyed it?