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From today's featured article

Simpson, cropped from a 1969 postage stamp

Tom Simpson (1937–1967) was one of Britain's most successful professional cyclists. He began his career track cycling, specializing in pursuit races. In this discipline he won a bronze medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics and a silver at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In 1959 Simpson moved to France and turned professional in road racing. In the 1962 Tour de France he became the first British rider to wear the yellow jersey. In 1965 he became Britain's first world road race champion. He won three Monument classic races: the 1961 Tour of Flanders, the 1964 Milan–San Remo and the 1965 Giro di Lombardia. At the 1967 Tour de France, he collapsed and died during the ascent of Mont Ventoux. He was 29 years old. The post-mortem examination found that he had mixed amphetamines and alcohol. He was known to have taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career, when no doping controls existed. Despite this, he is held in high esteem by many cyclists for his character and will to win. (Full article...)

Did you know...

Lucille Farrier Stickel
Lucille Farrier Stickel
  • ... that Lucille Farrier Stickel (pictured) was the first woman to become director of a United States national research laboratory?
  • ... that the long-clawed mole mouse leaves its burrow briefly to forage at night?
  • ... that when Romanian headmaster Alexandru Lambrior was fired for political reasons, all but two of the teachers at his school resigned in protest within two days?
  • ... that only the government of Tunisia is allowed to own mines in that country?
  • ... that Ralph Townsend was described as "the most adamant and extreme of the voices in America defending Japanese policy"?
  • ... that students at the University of San Diego created a law journal to encourage scholarship about "the world's transition to a climate-safe economy"?
  • ... that plains in the Italian provinces of Pordenone and Udine have water rising through the ground in a zone of springs?
  • ... that at different times in its history, West Chester, Pennsylvania led the U.S. in production of peach trees and penicillin?

In the news

Otto Pérez Molina at the World Economic Forum in 2013
Otto Pérez Molina in 2013

On this day...

September 5: Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism, 2015)

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme

Today's featured picture

Maxima clam

The maxima clam (Tridacna maxima) is a species of bivalve found throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is found on the surface of reefs or sand, or partly embedded in coral (as with this specimen), in the oceans surrounding east Africa, India, China, Australia, Southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific. This clam is much sought after in the aquarium trade, as its often striking coloration—the result of crystalline pigment—mimics that of the true giant clam.

Photograph: Alexander Vasenin

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