Long sought as the "holy grail" of Western alchemy, the philosopher's stone is a legendary substance that is supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold and is believed by some to have the power to restore youth. At one time, alchemists believed a key ingredient of the stone was a mythical element called "carmot." According to legend, to whom did 13th-century scientist Albertus Magnus give the philosopher's stone after discovering it shortly before his death?
Back in the day
Hitler dictated his manifesto, whose title means "my struggle," while serving a prison term for treason. The book, filled with anti-Semitic outpourings, political ideology, and strategy for world domination, became the bible of National Socialism. By the end of WWII, about 10 million copies of the book had been sold or distributed in Germanyâ€”owing much to the fact that every newlywed couple and every front soldier received a free copy. Where is it illegal to sell copies of the book?
Born on a day like today
William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist and satirist who ranked second only to Charles Dickens during the Victorian era. He achieved widespread popularity in 1848 with Book of Snobs, but he is best known for another of his novels published that year, Vanity Fair, a satirical panorama of upper-middle-class London life in the early 19th century. Who were Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh, and George Savage Fitz-Boodle?