Mayflies are an order (Ephemeroptera) of over 3,000 species of flying
insects, related to dragonflies and damselflies. They are relatively
primitive, with ancestral traits that were probably present in the first
flying insects, such as long tails, and wings that do not fold flat over
the abdomen. Their immature stages (nymphs) live in fresh water. Unique
among insect orders, they have a fully winged adult stage that moults
into a sexually mature adult. Often, all the mayflies in a population
mature at the same time, emerging in the spring, summer or autumn in
enormous numbers; some hatchings attract tourists. Mayflies are a
favourite food of many fish, and fishing flies are often modelled to
resemble them. The brief lives of mayfly adults—less than five minutes
for the female Dolania americana, after the final moult—have been
noted by naturalists and encyclopaedists since Aristotle and Pliny the
Elder. The English poet George Crabbe compared a daily newspaper's
lifespan to that of a mayfly in the satirical poem "The Newspaper"
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Emperor Gaozu allowed the assassination of a khagan of the
Western Turkic Khaganate by Eastern Turkic rivals, one of the earliest
events in the Tang campaigns against the Western Turks.
French Revolution: Under the terms of a new constitution that
was ratified during the aftermath of the Reign of Terror and the
subsequent Thermidorian Reaction, the Directory succeeded the National
Convention as the executive government of France.
The BBC Television Service launched as the world's first
regular, public all-electronic "high-definition" television service.
In the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd publisher Penguin Books was
acquitted of obscenity for the publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover by
D. H. Lawrence.
Dutch film director Theo van Gogh, whose film Submission was
critical of the treatment of women in Islam, was assassinated by
Wiktionary's word of the day:
An election candidate with little chance of winning, who is added to the
ballot for publicity and to increase the number standing.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Like integrity, love of life was not a subject to be studied, it
was a contagion to be caught. And you had to catch it from someone who
--Lois McMaster Bujold
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