Daily Archives: October 28, 2012

Quotation: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) on Fear (fear of the UNKNOWN)

How does one kill fear, I wonder? How do you shoot a specter through the heart, slash off its spectral head, take it by its spectral throat?

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: EVELYN WAUGH (1903)

Evelyn Waugh (1903)

Waugh was an English novelist who is widely considered the greatest satirist of his generation. His novels, characterized by sardonic wit, technical brilliance, and his devoted Catholicism, include A Handful of Dust and Brideshead Revisited. Waugh also wrote amusing travel books. After service in World War II, he led a retired life, and his writing grew increasingly misanthropic. In 1925, Waugh’s suicide attempt was thwarted when he was coincidentally attacked by what animal? More… Discuss

This Day in the Yesteryear: HARVARD COLLEGE IS FOUNDED (1636)

Harvard College Is Founded (1636)

Founded with a grant from the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Harvard College was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard. He bequeathed his books and about £780 to the fledgling college. The oldest and one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the US, Harvard originally trained Puritan ministers. Today, it has the largest university endowment in the US, estimated at more than $25 billion in 2009. Why did Harvard athletes first adopt the color red? More… Discuss



Algal Biofuel Unsustainable For Now

The volatility in the Middle East and rising prices at the pump have increased the attractiveness of alternative energy sources, likebiofuel, but science has not necessarily kept pace with demand. Experts had hoped that algal biofuel would play a role in reducingforeign oil dependence, even the US president recently expressed confidence that it could do so, but his statement appears to have been premature. At the moment, large-scale algal biofuel production requires too much energy, water, land, and fertilizer to be sustainable. Further developments could change this, but for the time being, algae is not a viable commercial source of biofuel. More… Discuss


The Theory of Everything

In physics, there are four fundamental forces—gravitational, electromagnetic, strong, and weak. Each plays a vital role in how the universe works. For example, the strong force is what holds atoms together. For years, physicists have sought a single theory that explains how all the forces work together: the theory of everything. Even on his deathbed, Einstein was working on this problem. Some believe no solution exists. What notable physicist once believed it was possible, then changed his mind? More… Discuss