" For solitude sometimes is best society,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
John Milton

Back in the day


Thomas Edison Successfully Tests the Incandescent Light Bulb

Now the iconic symbol for an idea, the electric incandescent light bulb was independently produced in the late 1870s by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison—and perhaps earlier by others. However, Edison has received the major credit for this invention because he also developed the power lines and other equipment needed for a lighting system. Financed by the likes of J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, Edison achieved success using a carbon filament in his design. How do incandescent light bulbs work?



The Rotten Egg Nebula

The Calabash Nebula is a protoplanetary nebula 1.4 light years long and located approximately 5,000 light years from Earth. It is sometimes called the Rotten Egg Nebula because it contains a relatively large amount of sulfur. The densest parts of the nebula are composed of material ejected recently by the central star and accelerated in opposite directions at incredibly high speeds. What do astronomers believe will happen to the Calabash Nebula 1,000 years from now?

Born on a day like today


Robert Rauschenberg

One of contemporary American art's most prolific and influential figures, Rauschenberg was a painter whose three-dimensional collages, known as "combines," incorporated objects—such as soda bottles and stuffed birds—and anticipated the emerging pop art movement, of which he became a pivotal figure. He later used silk-screening to transfer images from print media to canvas. What did Rauschenberg submit to a gallery exhibition for which artists were asked to create portraits of the gallery owner?

Last updated on Friday, 22nd October 2010

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