Knut is a captive-born polar bear who was born at the Zoologischer
Garten Berlin on 5 December 2006. Rejected by his mother at birth, he
was subsequently raised by zoo keepers. He was the first polar bear
cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in over thirty years. At
one time the subject of international controversy, he became a popular
tourist attraction and commercial success. After the German tabloid
magazine Bild ran a quote from an animal rights activist that
seemingly called for the death of the young cub, a worldwide public
outrage was caused as fans rallied in support of his being hand-raised
by humans. Children protested outside the zoo, and many emails and
letters expressing sympathy for the cub's life were sent from around
the world. Knut became the center of a mass media phenomenon dubbed
"Knutmania" that spanned the globe and quickly spawned numerous toys,
media specials, DVDs, and books. Because of this, the cub was largely
responsible for a significant increase in revenue at the Berlin Zoo in
2007. Zoo attendance figures for the year increased by an estimated 30
percent, making the zoo the most profitable it has been in its 163
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Forty-six of the Forty-Seven Ronin committed seppuku (ritual
suicide) in Edo, present-day Tokyo, as recompense for avenging the
death of their master, Daimyo of Akō Asano Naganori.
German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex
Sinaiticus, a 4th century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, in
Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
An American soldier shot a Filipino soldier in Manila after a
misunderstanding occurred between the two, igniting the
World War II: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph
Stalin met at the Yalta Conference in Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula.
USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, logged her
60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional
Nautilus described in Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues
Under the Sea.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
frog in one's throat: (idiomatic) Hoarseness or the need to cough.
Wikiquote of the day:
Mistakes are part of the game. It's how well you recover from them,
that's the mark of a great player. -- Alice Cooper