" The misery of a child is interesting to a mother, the misery of a young man is interesting to a young woman, the misery of an old man is interesting to nobody. "
Victor Hugo

Back in the day


First Transatlantic Telephone Call

The first transatlantic telephone call, between New York City and London, took place on this day. By this time in history, 78 years had passed since Italian inventor Antonio Meucci had first demonstrated his "teletrophone." In 1875, a man more popularly associated with the invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, successfully transferred the human voice. How did the modern handset come into existence?



West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is a virus that is found in both tropical and temperate regions and infects mainly birds, but it is known to infect humans and more than 200 other animal species as well. About one fifth of humans infected with the virus develop West Nile fever, and less than 1% of all persons infected may develop encephalitis or meningitis, which can be fatal, especially in persons with weakened immune systems. It was first identified in Uganda in 1937, and reached the US in what year?

Born on a day like today


Pope Gregory XIII

Gregory XIII's papacy lasted from 1572 to 1585 and is associated with the creation of the Gregorian Calendar, which is used throughout the world today. Gregory XIII clashed with Protestants repeatedly, and he also earned enemies among the nobles when, in order to fund projects such as the building of Quirinal Palace, he confiscated many estates on Church lands. This activity plunged his temporal dominions into chaos at the time of his death.

Last updated on Sunday, 7th January 2007

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