Pierre Gassendi (1592)

As a priest and a professor, Gassendi lectured on theology in his native southeastern France. However, as a philosopher, scientist, and astronomer, he was compelled to try to reconcile his scientific beliefs with the teachings of the church. Dissatisfied with the teachings of Aristotle, he came to espouse empiricism and atomism, the belief that tiny,…


Definition: (noun) Surface layer of ground containing a mat of grass and grass roots.

Synonyms: sod, turf.

Usage: There were lovely patches of greensward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious fruits.

Bouncing Betty

The German S-mine, nicknamed the “bouncing betty” by US troops during World War II, is the best-known example of a bounding mine. These land mines are designed to attack unshielded infantry by launching into the air, exploding at waist-height…