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Message boards : General discussion : ARTICLE OF THE DAY

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Profile Matthew Love
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Message 10473 - Posted: 28 Aug 2008 | 15:13:41 UTC

Marie-Fortunée Lafarge, née Capelle (January 15, 1816 - November 7, 1852) was a Frenchwoman who was convicted of murdering her husband by arsenic poisoning in 1840. Her case became notable because it was one of the first trials to be followed by the public through daily newspaper reports, and because she was the first person convicted largely on direct forensic toxicological evidence. However, questions about her guilt had divided French society to the extent that it is often compared to the better-known Dreyfus affair.

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 10497 - Posted: 1 Sep 2008 | 21:31:20 UTC

The Seizure of the Grand Mosque
On November 20, 1979, approximately 200 armed Islamic fundamentalist dissidents opposed to the Saudi ruling family took over Islam's holiest place, the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. After 127 Saudi Arabian National Guard members were killed in an unsuccessful attempt to regain control, the nervous Saudi government called in French and Pakistani forces, which retook the shrine in a battle that left approximately 250 dead and 600 wounded.

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Message 10694 - Posted: 15 Sep 2008 | 13:50:18 UTC

John Bull is an English-built railroad steam locomotive. It was operated for the first time on September 15, 1831, and it became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it in 1981.[3][4] Built by Robert Stephenson and Company, the John Bull was initially purchased by and operated for the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad in New Jersey. The railroad gave John Bull the number 1 and its first name, "Stevens". The C&A used the locomotive heavily from 1833 until 1866, when it was removed from active service and placed in storage.

After the C&A's assets were acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1871, the PRR refurbished and operated the locomotive a few times for public displays: it was steamed up for the Centennial Exposition in 1876 and again for the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in 1883. In 1884 the locomotive was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution as the museum's first major industrial exhibit.

In 1939 the employees at the PRR's Altoona, Pennsylvania workshops built an operable replica of the locomotive for further exhibition duties, as the Smithsonian desired to keep the original locomotive in a more controlled environment. After being on static display for the next 42 years, the Smithsonian commemorated the locomotive's 150th birthday in 1981 by firing it up, making it the world's oldest surviving operable steam locomotive. Today, the original John Bull is on static display once more in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The replica John Bull is preserved at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 11262 - Posted: 23 Oct 2008 | 16:24:20 UTC


Kenning
Often seen in Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Celtic literature, a kenning is a poetic phrase used in the place of a name or noun. Kennings can be complex phrases or simple two-word expressions joined to convey a meaning neither word possesses alone. A knowledge of mythology is often vital to the understanding and interpretation of these phrases. "Sail-road," "bath-way," and "whale-way" are all Old English kennings that reference the sea

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 11288 - Posted: 24 Oct 2008 | 17:38:58 UTC

Beer
The world's oldest and most popular alcoholic beverage, beer is recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and may have been brewed as early as the 6th millennium BCE. Today, approximately 35 billion gallons of beer are sold each year throughout the world. It is produced by fermenting sugars derived from starch-based materials, including malted barley and wheat, as well as millet in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 11352 - Posted: 30 Oct 2008 | 21:53:39 UTC

The Vestments Controversy
Arising during the English Reformation, the vestments controversy superficially pertained to vestments—liturgical garments worn by clergy members—but more fundamentally concerned the future of English Protestant identity, doctrine, and various church practices. The controversy stemmed in part from a debate about whether or not the wearing of vestments should be required during certain religious ceremonies.

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 11686 - Posted: 25 Nov 2008 | 10:36:23 UTC

Abbas the Great

Shah Abbas I ascended the Persian throne in the late 16th century, after participating in the coup that deposed his father. Persian artistic achievement flourished during Abbas's reign. The empire's new capital, Isfahan, was transformed into one of the world's most beautiful cities and quickly became one of the most important cultural centers in the Islamic world. Abbas's rule was tarnished, however, by his cruelty to his family

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 14515 - Posted: 22 Mar 2009 | 0:52:57 UTC

Reading Terminal

The Reading Terminal complex is located in the Market East section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Completed in 1893, the complex houses a massive trainshed as well as a flourishing market that continues to do business today. At the time of its construction, the terminal's single-span arched-roof trainshed was one of the largest in the world. Now the world's oldest structure of its kind, the trainshed has been declared a National Historic Landmark

Profile Matthew Love
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Message 17794 - Posted: 30 Aug 2009 | 23:40:47 UTC

Naked Short Selling

In finance, short selling is a way to profit from the decline in the price of a security by borrowing shares, selling them, buying them back at a lower price, and keeping the difference. The controversial process of naked short selling involves the same steps—except the investor does not first borrow the shares or even determine whether the shares can be borrowed. Critics of the practice say it can be used to manipulate and drive down a stock's price

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Message 18455 - Posted: 9 Oct 2009 | 17:53:31 UTC

The Tempest Prognosticator

The Tempest Prognosticator, known also as the Leech Barometer because it uses leeches to predict storms, was invented in 1850 by Dr. George Merryweather. The device contains 12 leeches, each kept in a small bottle. When the leeches become agitated by electrical conditions in the atmosphere generated by an approaching storm, they attempt to climb out of the bottles and trigger a small hammer that strikes a bell

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Profile Matthew Love
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Message 24577 - Posted: 26 Jun 2010 | 11:05:20 UTC

California English

California English is a dialect of English spoken in the state of California, which has one of the largest and most diverse populations in the US. California English is not uniform across the entire state—there are many variations in accents and dialects, particularly between northern and southern Californians—nor is it confined only to California. Even so, there are certain linguistic features that can be identified as either originally or predominantly Californian.

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Message boards : General discussion : ARTICLE OF THE DAY

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