" The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


First Program in FORTRAN Runs

Fortran is a computer language whose name is a blend of the words "formula" and "translation." Developed in the 1950s by John Backus, its many versions are still in use today as the primary language for some of the most intensive supercomputing tasks, such as weather/climate modeling, computational chemistry, quantum chromodynamics, and simulation of automobile crash dynamics. Why is Fortran primarily used for scientific and numerical tasks?




Classically, escapology is the art of escaping from rope bindings. It has since evolved to include escapes from a variety of restraints, including straightjackets, cages, chains, and prisons. In the early 1900s, Harry Houdini, a master escapologist, began performing his “Chinese Water Torture Cell” act. The escape required that Houdini hold his breath for more than 3 minutes while freeing himself from rope bindings in a locked, water-filled glass tank. What rope knot is virtually inescapable?

Born on a day like today


Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is a famous film actress who grew up in poverty near Naples, Italy. With the help of Italian producer Carlo Ponti, whom she later married, she gained international fame acting in both tragic dramas and boisterous comedies. She won the first Academy Award for a foreign-language performance for her role in the 1960 film Two Women, and she received a special Academy Award in 1991 for her body of work. Why did she serve an 18-day prison sentence in 1982?

Last updated on Thursday, 20th September 2007

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