" Let us suppose, then, that we are dreaming, and that all these particulars—namely, the opening of the eyes, the motion of the head, the forth-putting of the hands—are merely illusions; and even that we really possess neither an entire body nor hands such as we see. "
Rene Descartes

Back in the day


Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma

The Immaculate Conception is often confused with the Virgin Birth of Jesus, though the two Christian doctrines deal with entirely different events. The Immaculate Conception asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved from the stain of original sin at the moment of her conception, was filled with grace by God, and lived her life completely free from sin. The Virgin Birth, on the other hand, asserts what about the conception of Jesus?




"Breathalyzer" is a trademarked brand name that has become a generic term for any device that uses a breath sample to estimate blood alcohol content (BAC)—often of those suspected of driving drunk. Breathalyzers use infrared spectrophotometers, electrochemical fuel cells, and other technologies to render BAC estimates that are often used later in criminal prosecutions. Why are police officers supposed to keep suspects under observation for at least 15 minutes before administering a test?

Born on a day like today


Eli Whitney

Whitney was the American inventor of the cotton gin, a mechanical device that separates cotton fiber from its seeds. His invention, which had immense economic and social ramifications, brought great wealth to many others, but little to Whitney himself. In 1798, he built a firearms factory, and his products were some of the first to have standardized, interchangeable parts. Why did Whitney's ginning company go out of business only three years after he received his cotton gin patent?

Last updated on Tuesday, 8th December 2009

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