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The 1860 Boden Professor of Sanskrit election at the University of Oxford involved candidates with different approaches to Sanskrit scholarship. One was Monier Williams (pictured), an Oxford-educated Englishman and teacher of Sanskrit to those preparing to work in British India. The other, Max Müller, was a German-born specialist in comparative philology. The election came as Britain debated its role in India following the 1857 rebellion. Williams saw the study of Sanskrit as a tool in the conversion of India to Christianity. Müller saw his work as also valuable for its own sake. Both men battled for the votes of Oxford graduates through manifestos and advertisements, and received newspaper endorsements. Special trains to Oxford were provided on the day of the election, 7 December 1860, for non-residents to cast votes. Williams won by a majority of more than 220 votes. Thereafter, he helped to establish the Indian Institute at Oxford, received a knighthood, and held the chair until his death in 1899. (Full article...)
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The 2003–04 South Pacific cyclone season was a below-average season with three tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific to the east of 160°E. The 2003–04 season officially ran from November 1, 2003, to April 30, 2004, with the first disturbance of the season forming on December 4 and the last disturbance dissipating on April 23. During the season at least 16 people were killed from tropical disturbances while overall damage was estimated at $218 million (2004 USD; $299 million 2021 USD). The most damaging tropical disturbance was Cyclone Heta (pictured), which caused at least $211 million (2004 USD; $289 million 2021 USD) in damage to six different countries and left three dead. The deadliest tropical disturbance of the season was Tropical Depression 10F, which was responsible for eleven deaths and caused $2.74 million (2004 USD; $3.75 million 2021 USD) in damage. (Full list...)