Sarin is a colorless and odorless nerve agent estimated to be more than 500 times as toxic as cyanide. A cholinesterase inhibitor, it effectively causes nerve impulses to be continually transmitted, resulting in a loss of control of bodily functions, suffocation, and death. Discovered in 1938 by German scientists attempting to create stronger pesticides, sarin was mass produced by the German military during WWII. Why did the Nazis ultimately decide not to use sarin against Allied targets?
Back in the day
The Smurfs, or Les Schtroumpfs in French, are a fictional race of small blue creatures that live in a forest somewhere in Europe. The Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced Smurfs to the world, but English-speakers perhaps know them best from the Hanna-Barbera Productions animated television series. The Smurf franchise has spawned movies, television shows, figurines, and countless other types of merchandise. How did Peyo come up with the name for his famous creatures?
Born on a day like today
In 1999, footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as PelÃ©, was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. He scored more than 1,000 goals over the course of his career, becoming the Brazilian national team's all-time top scorer, and led his team to three World Cup victories. Waldemar de Brito, who scouted PelÃ© in 1956, predicted that the then 15-year-old would become "the greatest football player in the world." What did PelÃ© use as a ball when he was a boy?