Your daily knowledge snacks, directly from Wikipedia
- The Irish general election concludes with no party holding a majority of seats in Dáil Éireann (chamber pictured).
- South Korean film Parasite wins four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho.
- A mass shooting in Korat, Thailand, leaves 30 people dead and more than 50 others injured.
- Two avalanches near the Turkish town of Bahçesaray kill at least 41 people.
Today in History
- 1816 – Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa The Barber of Seville premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome to jeers from the audience.
- 1835 – An earthquake registering approximately 8.2 Ms devastated Concepción, Chile, and triggered a tsunami that destroyed neighbouring Talcahuano.
- 1943 – A fissure opened in a cornfield in the Mexican state of Michoacán and would continue to erupt for nine years, forming the cinder cone volcano Parícutin (pictured).
- 1965 – NASA's Ranger 8 spacecraft transmitted 7,137 photographs of the Moon in the final 23 minutes of its mission before crashing as planned in Mare Tranquillitatis.
- 1992 – Appearing on the talk show Larry King Live, U.S. industrialist Ross Perot announced that he would begin a presidential campaign if "ordinary people" wanted him to run for office.
Did You Know?
- ... that depictions of urinating boys (example pictured) in Renaissance art could alternately represent boyish innocence or erotic virility?
- ... that Keith Sebelius voted against the War Powers Resolution, but supported capping the U.S. military at 400,000 troops overseas?
- ... that Blue Square owned the franchise rights for operating IKEA in Israel during the 1990s?
- ... that William Dorsey Swann was the first American on record who pursued legal and political action to defend the LGBTQ community's right to gather?
- ... that the Little Cross monument in Elgin, Scotland, was listed as a Category A building in 1971?
- ... that Józef Walaszczyk had to collect one kilogram (2.2 lb) of gold within five hours to save 21 Jews?
- ... that the best-selling novel Dear Edward was inspired by a real-life plane crash in which a 12-year-old boy was the sole survivor?
- ... that Kanye West sold his Maybach to buy a Polar Bear?
Today's Featured Article
An ashcan comic is a type of American comic book originally created solely to establish trademarks on potential titles and not intended for sale. It was developed by publishers including All-American Publications (logo pictured) and Fawcett Comics to gain legal protection for desirable titles. An ashcan comic was the same size as a regular comic book and usually had a black and white cover. The practice became common in the 1930s and 1940s when the comic book industry was in its infancy, but was phased out after updates to US trademark law. The term "ashcan" was revived in the 1980s by Bob Burden, who applied it to prototypes of his self-published comic book. Since the 1990s, the term has been used to describe promotional materials produced in large print runs and made available for mass consumption. In the film and television industries, the term has been adopted for low-grade material created to preserve a claim to licensed property rights. (Full article...)
Today's Featured Picture
The Portuguese escudo was the currency used in Portugal prior to the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999. One escudo was subdivided into a hundred centavos. In addition, the escudo was also an 18th-century denomination of the real, the currency used before the 5 October 1910 revolution.
This picture shows a gold coin worth eight escudos minted in 1729, during the reign of John V. The obverse (left) features a portrait of the monarch in profile, with an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'John V, by the grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves'. The reverse (right) depicts the Portuguese coat of arms, supported by two dragons on either side and surmounted by a crown. While various denominations of the gold escudo were produced between 1722 and 1821, the eight-escudo coin was only struck for a fairly brief period, first in 1722, and again between 1724 and 1730. This particular coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.