Friday, November 21, 2008

On November 21

On this day in ...
... 1898 (110 years ago today), radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska Curie and her husband Pierre Curie. It was 1 of 2 elements the couple isolated that year; the other was polonium. Together the discoveries of la radioactivité -- the word she coined the same year -- brought the world a step closer to the nuclear age. Born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867, Marie Curie (left) would become the 1st woman professor at the Collège de France, the Paris institution of higher education founded in 1530. She's the only woman ever to have won 2 Nobel Prizes, Physics in 1903 for and in Chemistry in 1911. (As we've posted, the 1st depended on her husband's intervention.) She died in Savoy, France, in 1934. (photo credit)
... 2004, having met for 5 days, the "informal group of official creditors" known as the Club de Paris/Paris Club agreed to a 3-phase reduction, by 80%, of Iraq's external debt, a move that amounted to tens of billions of dollars of debt relief.

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