" Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


James Naismith Invents Basketball

Looking for an activity for his students during indoor gym classes, Naismith nailed a peach basket to each end of a gymnasium, created two teams of nine players, and thus invented basketball. The sport was inspired in part by a game Naismith had played as a child called "Duck on a Rock." One month later, Naismith published rules for the game, which did not allow for what is known today as dribbling. How many of Naismith's original 13 rules are still in use?




Ibogaine, a psychoactive compound derived from plants, is used by some African peoples for medicinal and ritual purposes. Identified in the early 1960s as having anti-addictive properties, it has been shown to cause sudden and complete interruption of heroin addiction—without withdrawal—in a matter of hours. Research suggests that it may also be useful in treating addiction to alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine. Why is it banned in many countries?

Born on a day like today


Oscar Niemeyer

Considered one of the most important figures in modern architecture, the Brazilian Niemeyer was a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete. His buildings feature smooth curves that are distinct from those of his more utilitarian contemporaries. Niemeyer's remarkable work in the creation of Brazil's new capital, Brasília, included his design for the President's Palace and the cathedral. In 1947, Niemeyer joined a team of architects to design what internationally recognized US building?

Last updated on Monday, 15th December 2008

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