This Week In History

• On November 18, 1967, meteorologists from around the world came together in Barcelona for a intense, three-day summit. They met behind closed doors, allowing no contact with the outside world. On the third day, five hours behind schedule, the doors finally opened, and a lone weatherman emerged from the smoke-filled conference room to announce their final verdict. Once and for all, low-pressure fronts would be depicted as blue half-circles, and high-pressure fronts would be depicted with the red triangle things. Anyone deviating from this method would be expelled, forever — a ruling that stands to this day. • On November 19, 1953, the Department of Defense released its controversial report detailing theoretical ways in which nuclear fallout could benefit the environment. The report, titled "But Here's The Good News," was intended to provide a measure of relief from the constant, scythe-like prospect of being completely irradiated.

• On November 22, 1823, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Burwell Bassett (Republican, VA) called Elijah Hunt Mills (Federalist, MA) "a tack-footed naysayer, a tremulous cheese-juggler, and a swiggled fop with the liver of a haberdasher and the brains of an Irish solicitor." Curators at the Library of Congress swear up and down that this was actually a really, really mean thing to say about someone back then.