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June 2008

The immune system is the system of specialized cells and organs that protects an organism from outside biological influences (though in a broad sense, almost every organ has a protective function—for example, the tight seal of the skin or the acidic environment of the stomach).


Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 - March 22, 1758) was a colonial American Congregationalist preacher and theologian.


Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was one of the great polymaths of his age. He was a mathematician, astronomer, jurist, physician, classical scholar, governor, administrator, diplomat, economist, and soldier.

April 2008

Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree)

Sojourner Truth (circa. 1797–1883) was a slave who became famous for being an American abolitionist. She was a self-proclaimed Evangelist, who changed her name based on a revelation she received in 1843.


Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Ann Morse Baker, known as Mary Baker Eddy (July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) was the pioneer of a system of prayer-based healing that led her to found the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879.


A Buddhist mandala from the Tibetan tradition.

Buddhist art refers to the rich and diverse representations of religious images, sculpture, dance, visual mythology, and symbols deriving from the various Buddhist communities found around the world.


Florence Nightingale, 1870

Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910), who came to be known as The Lady with the Lamp, is the founder of modern nursing.

February 2008

Featured Article: Prague

Prague Corinthia Hotel skyscraper
Prague (Czech: Praha), is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated on the Vltava River in central Bohemia, it is home to approximately 1.2 million people. Since 1992, its historic center has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. According to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. The four independent boroughs that had formerly constituted Prague—Hradčany, Malá Strana, Staré Město and Nové Město—were proclaimed a single city in 1784. Further expansion occurred with the annexation of city quarters Josefov in 1850 and Vyšehrad in 1883, and in early 1922, an additional 37 municipalities were incorporated, raising its population to 676,000. In 1938, the population reached one million.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of Europe's and the world's most popular tourist destinations. It is the sixth-most visited European city after London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin.

Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. It boasts one of the world's most pristine and varied collections of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, cubism, and ultra-modern architecture. Unique in the world is cubism, elsewhere limited to paintings but here materialized in architecture as well. Prague’s cubists even set up a housing establishment inspired by this style. Arts under communism were limited to “socialist realism,” with its unsightly high-rise apartment buildings built of prefabricated panels.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) was America's most beloved nineteenth-century poet, rivaling in popularity the contemporary English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.


The Starry Night, June 1889 (The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Vincent van Gogh is one of the world's best known and most beloved artists. He is perhaps as widely known for being a madman and cutting off his own earlobe as he is for being a great painter.


The Serengeti Plain.

The Serengeti Plain, located in north-central Tanzania, (Africa) is world renowned as an ideal location for wildlife and nature photography.

December 2007

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term meaning "nonviolence" or "non-injury" (literally: the avoidance of himsa: violence).


Dred Scott, Painted by Louis Schultze, commissioned by a "group of Negro citizens" and presented to the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, in 1882.

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858) was born in Virginia as a slave to the Peter Blow family. He was not taught to read or write but his determination to win his freedom was fierce.


Flag of Mongolia

Mongolia (Mongolian: Монгол Улс) is a landlocked country located in East Asia with a population of nearly three million. Mongolia is also sometimes classified as being a part of Central Asia, as well as being termed part of "inner Asia."


Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-1899)

Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 - March 18, 1899) was one of the pre-eminent paleontologists of the nineteenth century, who discovered, described, and named many fossils found in the American West.

October 2007

The phoenix from the Aberdeen Bestiary.

The phoenix, or phœnix as it is sometimes spelled, has been an enduring mythological symbol for millennia and across vastly different cultures.


Flag of the Netherlands

Netherlands is the European section of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is formed by the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.


1944WG002101.jpg

Psychological warfare is a tactic involving the use of propaganda or similar methods to demoralize the enemy in an attempt to ensure victory, possibly without even having to use physical violence.


Matthew Calbraith Perry

Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858) was an American naval officer and diplomat who is most famous for his mission to Japan, which opened that country to trade with the West.


Diagram of the carbon cycle. The black numbers indicate how much carbon is stored in various reservoirs, in billions of tons ("GtC" stands for GigaTons of Carbon). The blue numbers indicate how much carbon moves between reservoirs each year.

Carbon (chemical symbol C; atomic number 6) is a remarkable chemical element that plays a vital role in the structures and processes of the living and nonliving worlds.

August 2007

Pantanal and Paraguay River, near Brazil-Bolivia border

The Pantanal is considered by many to be the world’s largest, freshwater, wetland system.


Coat of arms of Zambia

Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in the central part of southern Africa.


The gentle and pensive virgin has the power to tame the unicorn, in this fresco in Palazzo Farnese, Rome, probably by Domenichino, ca 1602

The unicorn, a legendary creature usually depicted with the body of a horse, but with a single—usually spiral—horn growing out of its forehead, is one of the most revered mythical beasts of all time.


Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, novelist, writer, and lecturer.


Aoraki/Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand.

New Zealand is a nation made up of two large islands and a number of smaller islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

June 2007

Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze, 1851

The Delaware Crossing was declared to be the moment of George Washington’s brightest laurels by Charles Cornwallis.


COA of Liberia

The Republic of Liberia is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.


Mouth of the Amazon River

The Amazon River of South America is the world's largest river and the lifeblood of the world's largest ecosystem, spanning two-fifths of an entire continent.


Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange

Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story.

May 2008

Albrecht Dürer, A Young Hare, 1502, Watercolor Albertina, Vienna

Watercolor painting is a painting method. A watercolor is either the medium or the resulting artwork.


Girl with a Pearl Earring, known as the "Mona Lisa of the North"

Johannes Vermeer or Jan Vermeer (baptized October 31, 1632, died December 15, 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in scenes of ordinary people going about their everyday life.


Atonement means that two parties, estranged form each other because one of them offends the other, eventually reconcile to each other.


Resurrection of the Flesh (1499-1502) Fresco by Luca SignorelliChapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

Resurrection is most commonly associated with the reuniting of the spirit and body of a person in that person's afterlife, or simply with the raising of a person from death back to life.

March 2008

Self-Portrait (1500) by Albrecht Dürer, oil on board, Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Albrecht Dürer (May 21, 1471 – April 6, 1528) was a German painter and mathematician who is considered one of the greatest creators of old master prints.


Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was a British author who is considered to be one of the foremost figures of both Modernism and feminism in the twentieth century.


Flag of New Mexico

The State of New Mexico is in the southwestern region of the United States of America.


Excavated dwellings at Skara Brae, Scotland, Europe's most complete Neolithic village

The Neolithic (or "New" Stone Age) was a period in the development of human technology that is traditionally the last part of the Stone Age.


Relief of Suppiluliuma II, last known king of the Hittite Empire

"Hittites" is the conventional English-language term for an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language and established a kingdom centered in Hattusa (the modern village of Boğazköy in north-central Turkey), through most of the second millennium B.C.E.

January 2008

Holsteiner Apfelschimmel

The horse or domestic horse (Equus caballus) is a sizable ungulate ("hoofed") mammal of the family Equidae and the genus Equus.


Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), born David Henry Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, pacifist, philosopher, and transcendentalist.


Red and Blue "Blue Jeans" Dendrobates pumilio Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frog (also poison arrow frog, dart frog, or poison frog) is the common name for any of the very small, diurnal frogs of the Dendrobatidae family.


Tribal flag

The Potawatomi (also spelled Pottawatomie or Pottawatomi) are a Native American people originally of the Great Lakes region.


Featured Article: Geologic time scale

Geologic clock.jpg
The geologic time scale is used by geologists and other scientists to map the timing and relationships between events that have occurred during the history of the Earth.

Based on radiometric dating techniques, the Earth is estimated to be about 4,570 million years (4570 "Ma") old. The geological time scale is a means of mapping the history of the earth. It combines estimates of the age of geological formations as provided by radiometric dating techniques with the direct evidence of sequences and events in the rock record as assembled by geologists. In this way the geologic or deep time of Earth's past can be organized into various units according to events that took place in each period. Different spans of time on the time scale are usually delimited by major geologic or paleontologic events, such as mass extinctions. For example, the boundary between the Cretaceous period and the Palaeogene period is defined by the extinction event that marked the demise of the dinosaurs and of many marine species.

November 2007

A space filling image of ATP

A nucleotide is a chemical compound with three components: a nitrogen-containing base, a pentose (five-carbon) sugar (relatively simple carbohydrates), and one or more phosphate groups.


Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was one of the great polymaths of his age. He was a mathematician, astronomer, jurist, physician, classical scholar, governor, administrator, diplomat, economist, and soldier.


Sir Isaac Newton at age 46 in Godfrey Kneller's 1689 portrait.

Sir Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643 – March 31, 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, inventor, and natural philosopher, who is generally regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential scientists in history.


Plastics have become an indispensable part of our technological society.

The term plastic is applied to a wide range of synthetic and semi-synthetic products, and a few naturally occurring materials as well.

September 2007

Clare Boothe Luce; photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1933.

Clare Boothe Luce (April 10, 1903 – October 9, 1987) was a United States congresswoman (1943–1947), and ambassador to Italy (1953–1957), whose multifaceted career included being a playwright and journalist.


Paleoclimatology literally means the study of (-ology) past (paleo-) climates. The study of past climates ranges on time scales from the order of decades to billions of years.


Executions of the Third of May by Francisco de Goya

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for the most serious crimes—known as capital crimes.


Image of the Earth seen from Apollo 17

Earth is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth in order of size.

July 2007

Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905 to March 6, 1982) was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, in Russia and emigrated to the United States to become an outspoken champion of capitalism.


Henry Moore, Family Group (1950)

A family is a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups, typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships including adoption.


ASIMO is an anthropomorphic robot created in 2000 by Honda

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to non-human beings, objects, natural, or supernatural phenomena.


Benjamin Franklin by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1777

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a tallow-maker.

May 2007

Great Seal of the United States

The United States of America—also referred to as the United States, the USA, the U.S., America, the States, or (archaically) Columbia—is a federal republic of 50 states and the District of Columbia located primarily in central North America.



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