" It was not that she was out of temper, but that the world was not equal to the demands of her fine organism. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


Rubber Band Patented

In 1845, Stephen Perry, a British inventor and businessman, patented what is now a staple office supply—the rubber band. While their intended function is to hold items together, rubber bands have been used in a number of other capacities; they can be wrapped around one another to form a bouncy ball or used as "ammunition" in rubber band guns. Though many modern rubber products are commonly made with synthetic rubber, rubber bands are still primarily manufactured using natural rubber. Why?



Nepenthes Rajah: The Plant with an Appetite

Nepenthes rajah is a carnivorous pitcher plant species endemic to Borneo. Its most distinctive features—giant urn-shaped traps, called pitchers, containing water and digestive fluid—allow it to catch and digest insects and even small vertebrates and mammals. These pitchers also host a number of organisms with which it is thought to form symbiotic relationships. Called nepenthebionts, many of these organisms are so specialized that they cannot survive anywhere else. What are some examples?

Born on a day like today


Nat King Cole

Originally a jazz pianist, Nat King Cole performed in Los Angeles nightclubs with his trio in the 1930s but did not achieve commercial success until he began singing. His warm, velvety voice brought a personal touch to his ballads, and he became internationally popular for his broodingly romantic hits, such as "Unforgettable." He went on to become one of the first African-American artists to star in a radio show and to host a network television show. How did he get the nickname "King"?

Last updated on Wednesday, 17th March 2010

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