June 6, 1944. D-Day.
I would call it the invasion that signaled the beginning of the end for Hitlers rule in Europe, but it wasn't. That actually came when Hitler invaded Russia.
It wasn't even the first allied invasion of mainland Europe. In fact, only two days earlier allied forces took control of Rome.
That's not to say the D-Day landings weren't important. They were. They created the needed second front that allowed the Russians to really start pushing the Germans back. The allies would not have been able to exploit the Italian campaign to the extent needed to retake Europe. (The Axis could have easily stopped the Allies at the Italian Alps, preventing them from advancing out of Italy)
What the D-Day landings did was allow the massive influx of allied troops onto the mainland. It gave the allies a location to land troops, and more importantly, the materiel needed to support the troops. One of the main reasons is was a success is because the Germans, Hitler in particular, expected the invasion to be at the Pas De Calais. There was a large harbor there, (as well as being the closest point to England), and the Germans thought the Allies would require the harbor to offload the troops and supplies.
Popular thought says the Allies got away without a harbor because of something called a "Mulberry". This was a floating harbor that was designed by English engineers. They made two. But, in reality, more troops and supplies were put ashore by landing craft than the Mulberries. One was sunk by the weather after only two weeks, and the other was rendered useless by the capture of Antwerp.
The photo above was taken by Robbert Capa just as he jumped off his landing craft on Omaha Beach. He went ashore in the second wave of troops, 30 minutes after the first wave of troops hit the beach. By the time Capa stormed the beach, most of that first wave was dead, wounded, or huddling behind cover without accomplishing any of their objectives. (Omaha Beach was the scene of the most extended and some of the most vicious fighting of the day)
Over the course of the next couple of hours, Capa took 116 pictures. Today, only 11 survive because the person who was responsible for developing the film in London was so anxious to see them, he didn't develop them properly.
Interesting fact: the 'D' in D-Day stands for Day. Just like the 'H' in H-Hour stands for hour.
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Take a moment to remember the hundreds of thousands of men and women who took part in that day, whether they were infantry troops on the beaches, sailors transporting them, paratroops behind the lines, French resistance working behind the scenes, or any of the other, countless jobs that had to be done by both military and civilian personal.
But, on to todays oddity.
Tears. Those little drops of water that leak out the corners of your eyes when you're sad. Or happy. Or sneezy.
Humans produce tears for any multitude of reasons. Our emotions evoke them, as well as other things, like dust or pollen. (or, in my case, cat dander)
Scientists have found that, when tears are produced and allowed to dry, when examined under a microscope, the tears produced by different emotions produce different shapes.
When someone produces a tear of joy, it takes on a different shape than a tear of sadness.
The reason for this is the different emotions produce different chemicals that will affect the way the tear forms and flows and dries. Tears caused by allergies contain still different chemicals, and create still different shapes.
So men, we finally have a sure fire method of determining which emotion your female friend is exhibiting. Just dry their tears and see what shape they are. No more guessing why she's crying.