Why was bronze chosen as a third place signifier?

The ranking Gold > Silver > Bronze > Iron (> Lead) dates from Hesiod: see Ages of Man. Bronze for toolmaking in common use is older than Iron; Hesiod was aware of that, which is why his Bronze Age is earlier than his Iron Age. Gold and Silver would have outranked Bronze and Iron, because they were precious metals (better suited to describe an ideal past), and Bronze and Iron weren’t.

Per Wikipedia: Bronze, the ranking in Olympic medals derives from Hesiod’s ranking, but was only put in place in the 1904 Olympics; before that, it was 1st place Silver, 2nd place Bronze.

What is the best biography of Richard Nixon?

For time depth and sobriety, the first biography I read is still the best: Nixon by Stephen E. Ambrose. The in-depth coverage of his vice-presidency (from an historian who was an Eisenhower fan) explains a lot.

Of the others, I wanted to like Fawn M. Brodie‘s Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character, but it was disappointingly farfetched.

Using UML, can we model life itself with everything in it?

UML Class Diagrams can express hierarchical ontologies, and associations.

Upper Ontologies are intended to model all entities that can be hierarchically related. So if you’re ambitious enough (see: Douglas Lenat), upper ontologies can model life itself with everything in it; and associations can model (at least at first approximation) all relations between with everything within life.

So yeah, sure.

That’d be an awfully big wallpaper diagram though…