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Today is World Hello Day, plus the Anniversary of Many, Many Things...

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Continuing our series on historical happenings, let's delve right into the smart, the wacky, and the _flossy events of November 21 in history.

- Judas Maccabaeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC, an event that is commemorated each year with the festival of Hanukkah.

- In 1620, the Plymouth Colony settlers signed the Mayflower Compact.

- François-Marie Arouet was born in France in 1694; he would later author histories, plays, and books, including Candide, under the pen name Voltaire.

- The first un-tethered hot air balloon flight was made in 1783 in Paris.

- North Carolina, in 1789, was the twelfth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

edison.jpg- The first American woman to make a substantial impact on Wall Street, Henrietta "Hetty" Howland Robinson Green, was born in 1834.

- Thomas Edison announced his invention of a machine that can record and play sound, the phonograph, in 1877.

- In 1905, the journal "Annalen der Physik" published Albert Einstein's paper, "Doest the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?," which led to the mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2.

- Elizabeth George Speare, an American children's author, was born in 1908. Her books "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" and "The Bronze Bow" won Newbery Medals.

- Rebecca L. Felton of Georgia was sworn in as the first female senator in 1922.

- In 1953, 40 years after its discovery, the "Piltdown Man" skull was declared a hoax by the British Natural History Museum.

- The Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Franklin Stroud, died at the Springfield Center in Missouri in 1963.

- The eclectic Icelandic singer-songwriter / actress, Björk, was born in 1965.

mf_logo.jpg- The first ARPANET link was established in 1969, paving the way for the mental_floss blog.

- In 1973, the existence of an 18.5 minute gap on a White House tape recording related to Watergate was revealed by J. Fred Buzhardt, President Nixon's attorney.

- Lake Peigneur, in Louisiana, drained into an underlying salt deposit, changing the lake from a 10-foot-deep freshwater lake to a salt water lake with a deep hole.

- The first feature-length CGI film, "Toy Story," was released in theaters in 1995.

- November 21 is World Hello Day, during which people are supposed to say "hello" to at least 10 other people, as established in 1973 in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel.

-November 21 is also World Television Day. The UN General Assembly established the day in 1996 to encourage nations to exchange cultural programming focusing on peace and development.

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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