" I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will. "
Charlotte Bronte

Back in the day


Wilhelm Röntgen Discovers X-Rays

While experimenting with electricity, Röntgen, a German physicist, observed peculiar wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that he called X-rays. His discovery, which gave medicine a critical view inside the body and allowed bones to be photographed, remains a valuable tool in the diagnosis of numerous medical conditions. In 1901, Röntgen was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Physics. Whose hand was the subject of the first X-ray photograph of a human body part?



Whistled Language

Whistled language is a form of communication that uses whistling to emulate speech, generally by imitating the intonation of a natural language. Though relatively rare, whistled language is found in cultures around the world and is especially common in parts of West Africa, where even French is whistled in some areas. Such languages enable communication over long ranges and are usually found in locations with rough terrain. What culture fines men whose whistle-speech skills are deemed subpar?

Born on a day like today


Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker is best remembered as the author of Dracula (1897), a horror story that recounts the adventures of the vampire Count Dracula. Stoker researched European folklore and vampire tales for a number of years before writing Dracula. Although he did not invent the vampire, his novel is singularly responsible for scores of theatrical and film interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Why did Stoker's widow demand that the 1922 film Nosferatu be destroyed?

Last updated on Saturday, 8th November 2008

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