Also known as hara-kiri, seppuku is a form of ritual suicide by disembowelment formerly practiced by members of Japan's samurai class. Favored because it was slow and painful—and therefore demonstrative of courage and strong resolve—voluntary seppuku was performed to avoid the dishonor of capture, show loyalty to one's lord, protest against a policy, or atone for failure. Over time, an elaborate ritual evolved that began with the samurai bathing and then dressing in robes of what color?
Back in the day
During Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, Willie Mays of the New York Giants made one of the greatest and most famous plays in the history of baseball. In the eighth inning, with the score tied 2–2, Mays tracked down a deep fly ball and caught it over his shoulder before spinning and hurling it to the infield to keep the runners in place and prevent the Cleveland Indians from taking the lead. The tied game went into extra innings and ended when which team finally scored its winning runs?
Born on a day like today
Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi is known today as the "father of the atomic bomb." Fermi conducted early experiments with neutrons and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics. After receiving the award in Stockholm, Fermi and his family chose not return to Fascist Italy and instead settled in the US. There, he created the first self-sustaining chain reaction in 1942 and later worked on the atomic bomb. What so-called paradox named for Fermi involves extraterrestrial intelligent life?