" In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn, than to contemplate. "
Rene Descartes

Back in the day


The Great Toronto Fire

The Great Toronto Fire began in a factory in downtown Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, Canada, and spread to more than 100 other buildings before it was extinguished. For nine hours, Toronto's firefighters—as well as firefighters from Hamilton, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, that had come to help—braved strong winds and sub-zero temperatures as they fought to bring the blaze under control. Ultimately, the fire caused more than $10 million in damage and killed how many people?



Blindfold Chess

In blindfold chess, players engage in a chess match without being able to see or touch the pieces. Moves are communicated via chess notation, a system which describes the pieces' location on the board. While it is generally thought that most strong players can play at least one game blindfolded, some masters are able to play dozens of blindfolded games simultaneously with different opponents. What is the world record for the number of blindfold chess games played simultaneously by one person?

Born on a day like today


Glenn Seaborg

In 1941, American nuclear chemist Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues discovered plutonium. He joined the Manhattan Project the next year and was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb, which he unsuccessfully pressed President Truman not to use on civilian targets. In 1951, he and Edwin McMillan shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on transuranium elements. During his life, Seaborg held more than 40 patents—among them the only patents ever issued for what?

Last updated on Monday, 19th April 2010

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