Your daily knowledge snacks, directly from Wikipedia
- In response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent, the United Kingdom expels 23 Russian diplomats.
- British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking (pictured) dies at the age of 76.
- At least 49 people are killed after US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 crashes en route from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Kathmandu, Nepal.
- The Winter Paralympics open in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- The wreck of USS Lexington is discovered in the Coral Sea.
Today in History
- 1452 – Reconquista: The combined forces of Castile and Murcia defeated the Emirate of Granada at the Battle of Los Alporchones around the city of Lorca.
- 1891 – The transatlantic steamship Utopia accidentally collided with the battleship HMS Anson in the Bay of Gibraltar, sinking in less than twenty minutes and killing 562 (wreckage pictured).
- 1955 – Ice hockey fans in Montreal rioted to protest the suspension of Montreal Canadiens star Maurice Richard for hitting an official.
- 1968 – Six thousand sheep were killed on ranches near Dugway Proving Ground in Utah as a result of the U.S. Army spraying a nerve agent.
- 2000 – Over 700 followers of the Ugandan sect Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a mass murder committed by its leaders.
Did You Know?
- ... that female urinals available today (example pictured) are typically used in a "skiing" position?
- ... that footballer Paul Giles suffered an injury during a match in March 1982 after being fouled by his brother?
- ... that the Brown County Courthouse in South Dakota is built of Berea sandstone from Ohio?
- ... that Ali Soozandeh was inspired to film Tehran Taboo, which explores sexual double standards in Iran, by a conversation he overheard on a train?
- ... that during their winter meetings, medical history society the Osler Club drink a punch made of tangerine oranges, Tarragona wine, rum, brandy whisky or gin, water, spices and cream?
- ... that Arthur and Morley Cowles Ballantine, co-publishers of The Durango Herald, sometimes wrote opposing editorials, as when he endorsed Nixon and she Humphrey for president in 1968?
- ... that integral bridges do not have movement joints?
- ... that among those rescued by the British Army during the attack on the United States embassy in Addis Ababa was a reporter's pet cheetah?
Today's Featured Article
Freedom Planet is a two-dimensional platform video game developed and published by independent developer GalaxyTrail, a studio set up for the project by designer Stephen DiDuro. The player controls one of three anthropomorphic animal protagonists: the dragon Lilac, the wildcat Carol, or the basset hound Milla. Aided by the duck-like Torque (concept art shown), the player attempts to defeat Lord Brevon, who plans to conquer the galaxy. While the game focuses on fast-paced platforming, its levels are interspersed with slower action scenes. Freedom Planet began development as a Sonic the Hedgehog fangame, but DiDuro lost interest in creating a derivative work and reconceived the project as his own intellectual property. Developed in Denmark and the United States, the game and its art have East Asian influences: its background visuals were inspired by medieval Chinese art, and its title is written in katakana. Critics praised its gameplay, aesthetics, and balance of Sonic elements with original content, but were mixed on its pacing and length. (Full article...)
Today's Featured Picture
The Aviat Eagle II (previously the Christen Eagle II) is an aerobatic sporting biplane aircraft produced in the United States since the late 1970s. Designed by Frank Christensen and first flown in March 1977, over 350 Eagles in three variants were flying by 2011. The aircraft is marketed in kit form for homebuilding.
Photograph: Julian Herzog
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