Your daily knowledge snacks, directly from Wikipedia
- The trial of Catalonia independence leaders concludes with nine jail sentences, sparking protests across the region.
- The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo (pictured), and Michael Kremer for their work in poverty reduction.
- Ten days of protests in Ecuador end after President Lenín Moreno agrees to repeal austerity measures and restore fuel subsidies.
- Kenyan Brigid Kosgei breaks the women's marathon world record at the Chicago Marathon.
Today in History
- 1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler began observations of an exceptionally bright object, now known as Kepler's Supernova, which had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus earlier in the month.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: General John Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign ended with his surrender to the Americans, which later convinced France to enter the war in alliance with the United States.
- 1814 – A wooden beer fermenting vat in London burst, destroying a second vat and causing a flood of at least 128,000 imperial gallons (580,000 l; 154,000 US gal) of porter that killed eight people.
- 1969 – The Caravaggio painting Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (shown) was stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo, Italy.
Did You Know?
- ... that Hannah Simpson Grant (pictured), mother of U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant, did not attend her son's inauguration?
- ... that Litsy is similar to Twitter and Instagram, but is only for books?
- ... that property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, fiancé of Princess Beatrice of York, co-founded a charity in Rwanda that aims to use cricket to foster social change?
- ... that the cause of the decline in hornleaf riverweed, a foundation species in swift-flowing rivers in North America, is unclear?
- ... that pediatric oncologist Brigid Leventhal was one of only six women in her graduating class from Harvard Medical School in 1960?
- ... that Shaun Murphy pulled out of the 2019 Paul Hunter Classic snooker tournament after injuring his leg dancing to Disney's Greatest Hits?
- ... that the construction of New York City's Tweed Courthouse, prolonged over 20 years, has been called "a classic in the annals of American graft"?
- ... that tenor Thomas Mohr, who has sung the roles of Loge, Siegmund, and Siegfried in Der Ring in Minden, hosts concerts in his cowshed?
Today's Featured Article
The Battle of Neville's Cross took place on 17 October 1346 during the Second War of Scottish Independence, half a mile (800 m) to the west of Durham, England. During the Hundred Years' War, King Philip VI of France called on the Scots to fulfil their obligation under the terms of the Auld Alliance. King David II obliged and ravaged part of northern England. An English army of approximately 6,000–7,000 men led by Lord Ralph Neville took David by surprise on a hill marked by an Anglo-Saxon stone cross. David's army of 12,000 was defeated, he was captured, and most of his leadership was killed or captured. The English victory freed significant resources for their war against France, and the English border counties were able to guard against the remaining Scottish threat from their own resources. The eventual ransoming of the Scottish king resulted in a truce which brought peace to the border for forty years. (Full article...)
Today's Featured Picture
Locusts are a collection of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a swarming phase. These insects are usually solitary, but under certain circumstances they become more abundant and change their behaviour and habits, becoming gregarious. No taxonomic distinction is made between locust and grasshopper species; the basis for the definition is whether a species forms swarms under intermittently suitable conditions. These grasshoppers are innocuous, their numbers are low, and they do not pose a major economic threat to agriculture. However, under suitable conditions of drought followed by rapid vegetation growth, serotonin in their brains triggers a dramatic set of changes: they start to breed abundantly, becoming gregarious and nomadic (loosely described as migratory) when their populations become dense enough. They form bands of wingless nymphs which later become swarms of winged adults. Both the bands and the swarms move around and rapidly strip fields and cause damage to crops. The adults are powerful fliers; they can travel great distances, consuming most of the green vegetation wherever the swarm settles.
This picture shows an adult garden locust (Acanthacris ruficornis), a species distributed throughout Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as southern Spain; this individual was photographed in Ghana.
Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp
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