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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?



Faraday Cages

In 1836, scientist Michael Faraday observed that a charge on a conductor resides only on its surface and does not impact anything enclosed within. To demonstrate this, he coated a room with metal foil, had high-voltage discharges strike its exterior, and showed with an electroscope that no electric charge reached the interior. Today, any container made of a conductor that shields its interior from electric fields is called a Faraday cage. What common modes of transportation act as Faraday cages?

Born on a day like today


Oscar Niemeyer

Considered one of the most important figures in modern architecture, Brazilian architect Oscar 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 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 Tuesday, 15th December 2009

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