Quote of the Day

W. Somerset Maugham
One cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one's soul. Discuss

Jane Austen
Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

Oscar Wilde
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

This Day in History

The "Gimli Glider": Air Canada Flight Runs Out of Fuel Mid-Flight (1983)
The "Gimli Glider" is the nickname given to Air Canada Flight 143, which ran out of fuel on a routine flight from Montreal to Edmonton in 1983. The crew was able to glide the aircraft safely to an emergency landing at a retired airstrip in Gimli, Manitoba, even through part of the runway had been converted into a racetrack and a large event was being held there at the time. Amazingly, no passengers or bystanders suffered any serious injuries. Why did the plane run out of fuel? Discuss

Battle of Falkirk (1298)
The Battle of Falkirk was a major battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. It was fought between the leader of the Scots, William Wallace, and King Edward I of England, also known as the Hammer of the Scots. In 1298, Edward I invaded Scotland and defeated a smaller force led by Wallace at Falkirk. Edward's longbowmen and cavalry decimated Wallace's spearmen, forcing him to retreat. Though victorious, Edward's troops also retreated following the battle, and many deserted thereafter. Why?

Neil Armstrong Becomes the First Man to Walk on the Moon (1969)
As commander of Apollo 11, Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the Moon. With hundreds of millions watching a broadcast of his history-making moonwalk, he uttered the now famous line, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Buzz Aldrin followed, and the two astronauts proceeded to set up scientific equipment, conduct experiments, and collect samples from the lunar surface. What other spacecraft landed on the moon while Apollo 11 was still there?

Today

Judit Polgár (1976)
Polgár is a Hungarian chess grandmaster and by far the strongest female chess player in history. A prodigy from an early age, she won many youth tournaments competing against boys. In 1991, at the age of 15, Polgár became the youngest grandmaster in history at the time, earning the distinction faster than Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. She later became the first woman to be ranked in the top ten in the world, ranking as high as eighth. What world champions has Polgár defeated? Discuss

Emma Lazarus (1849)
Lazarus was an American Jewish poet. She became an impassioned spokeswoman for Judaism after the Russian pogroms of the 1880s, writing many essays and a book of poems, Songs of a Semite, which contains her best work. Her writings caught the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with whom she shared a lifetime correspondence. She also worked for the relief of new immigrants to the US, and the famous closing lines of her sonnet "The New Colossus" were engraved on what monument?

Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (1816)
Reuter, founder of the Reuters news agency, was a pioneer of telegraphy and news reporting. In 1849, he started a post service to bridge the gap in a telegraph line between Germany and Belgium. He soon moved to England and opened a telegraph office serving banks, brokerages, and businesses. He steadily extended his commercial news service, acquiring his first subscribing newspaper client in 1858. Undersea cables enabled him to expand the service. What animal was used to deliver messages in 1849?