[Daily article] May 19: Wood Siding railway station

Wood Siding railway station was a halt in Bernwood Forest,
Buckinghamshire, England, opened in 1871 as a terminus of a horse-drawn
tramway serving the Duke of Buckingham’s estates and connecting them to
the railway at Quainton Road. After a campaign by residents of Brill,
the tramway was adapted for passengers and extended beyond Wood Siding
in 1872, becoming known as the Brill Tramway. The operation of the line
was taken over by the Metropolitan Railway in 1899. Between 1908 and
1910 Wood Siding was rebuilt on a bridge over the Chiltern Main Line. In
1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership, becoming
the Metropolitan line of London Transport. As a result, Wood Siding
became part of the London Underground network, despite being over 45
miles (72 km) from the City of London. London Transport aimed to move
away from freight services, and as the line served a sparsely populated
rural area the new management felt it would never be a viable passenger
route. The station was closed, along with the rest of the line, in
November 1935, and demolished in 1936. The remains of the bridge which
supported it are still in place.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

639:

Ashina Jiesheshuai of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate failed in his
attempt to assassinate Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty.

1743:

French physicist Jean-Pierre Christin published the design of a
mercury thermometer with the centigrade scale, with 0 representing the
freezing point of water and 100 its boiling point.

1780:

A combination of thick smoke, fog, and heavy cloud cover caused
darkness to fall on parts of Canada and the New England area of the
United States by noon.

1962:

Actress Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of “Happy
Birthday to You” during a televised celebration for U.S. President John
F. Kennedy.

1997:

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere, which encompasses the most
ecologically diverse region in Mexico, was established as a result of
grassroots efforts.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

chimera:
1. (Greek mythology) Alternative letter-case form of Chimera (a flame-
spewing monster often represented as having two heads, one of a goat and
the other of a lion; the body of a goat; and a serpent as a tail).
2. (mythology) Any fantastic creature with parts from different animals.
3. Anything composed of very disparate parts.
4. A foolish, incongruous, or vain thought or product of the imagination.
5. (architecture) A grotesque like a gargoyle, but without a spout for
rainwater.
6. (genetics) An organism with genetically distinct cells originating from
two zygotes.
7. Usually chimaera: a cartilaginous marine fish in the subclass
Holocephali and especially the order Chimaeriformes, with a blunt snout,
long tail, and a spine before the first dorsal fin.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Today we live in the midst of upheaval and crisis. We do not know
where we are going, nor even where we ought to be going. Awareness is
spreading that our future cannot be a straight extension of the past or
the present … The century now approaching its end has been one of
indiscriminate violence, it has been perhaps the most murderous one in
Western history of which we have record. Yet I would think that what
will strike people most when, hundreds of years from now, they will look
back on our days is that this was the age when the exploration of space
began, the microchip was invented, revolutions in transport and
communication virtually annihilated time and distance, transforming the
world into a “global village,” and relativity theory, quantum mechanics,
and the structure of the atom were discovered, in brief that this has
been the century of science and technology.  
–Abraham Pais

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