From today's featured article
Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author best known for her works of speculative fiction. She wrote more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books. She achieved critical and commercial success with A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) and The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). Le Guin was influenced by cultural anthropology, Taoism, feminism, and the writings of Carl Jung. Many of her stories used anthropologists or cultural observers as protagonists. Several works reflect Taoist ideas about balance and equilibrium. Le Guin often subverted typical speculative fiction tropes, such as through her use of dark-skinned protagonists in the Earthsea fantasy series. She won eight Hugo Awards, six Nebulas, and twenty-two Locus Awards, and in 2003 became only the second woman honored as a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that Dabusun Lake (pictured) is the largest remaining lake in China's Qarhan Playa, which 30,000 years ago held a single lake spreading over at least 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi)?
- ... that mathematician Dona Strauss left South Africa over apartheid, lost a faculty job at Dartmouth for joining an anti-war protest, and helped found European Women in Mathematics?
- ... that the Church of the Gesú in Philadelphia once held more than 200 relics?
- ... that John Gillies devised what is thought to have been the first British closed-circuit anaesthetic machine?
- ... that New York City's Kings Plaza shopping mall was built with a marina for visitors, as well as its own power system?
- ... that prior to joining the Supreme Court of Chile, Gloria Ana Chevesich was best known for convicting a former government minister and 13 others of fraud in the MOP-Gate case?
- ... that despite its name, the Pere Marquette Lumber Company ranked among the largest salt and lumber producers in the state of Michigan?
- ... that one of the Buddha's chief female disciples, Uppalavanna, is said to have become a nun because she was so beautiful that her father feared conflict between her many wealthy suitors?
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On this day
October 21: Shemini Atzeret (Judaism, 2019)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- 1858 – French composer Jacques Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, featuring the music most associated with the can-can, was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in Paris.
- 1867 – The first and second of three treaties were signed near Medicine Lodge, Kansas, between the United States and several Native American tribes in the Great Plains, requiring them to relocate to areas in present-day western Oklahoma.
- 1959 – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pictured), designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City.
- 1969 – Siad Barre led Supreme Revolutionary Council forces in a military coup and established the Somali Democratic Republic.
- 1983 – At the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures, the length of a metre was redefined as the distance that light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second.
Henry Lawes (d. 1662) · Georg Solti (b. 1912) · Dorothy Hale (d. 1938)