" The terrorist and the policeman both come from the same basket. "
Joseph Conrad

Back in the day


Orson Welles Broadcasts The War of the Worlds

On the night before Halloween in 1938, many listeners tuned in late to Welles' Mercury Theatre on the Air, missing the program's introduction announcing that it would be broadcasting an adaptation of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. The innovative format, which featured news segments reporting a Martian invasion, was so convincing that it panicked the listening public and brought national attention to Welles. What urban legends exist about what happened during the broadcast?




Occurring annually in mid-November, the Leonids meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Leo, from which it appears to radiate. The meteor shower is visible every year around the time the Earth moves through the particles left from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Though most years' showers have a low frequency of meteors, the Leonids have produced some of the most spectacular meteor showers in history. How many meteors are estimated to have been observed per hour during the shower in 1833?

Born on a day like today


Georges Gilles de la Tourette

Tourette syndrome is a rare neurological disease characterized by repetitive tics, movement disorders, uncontrolled grunts, and, occasionally, verbal obscenities. It is named for French neurologist Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described it in the 1880s. Apart from his clinical work, Tourette lectured on a variety of topics, including the medical and legal ramifications of mesmerism, now called hypnosis. In the 1890s, one of Tourette's former patients shot him in the head. Why?

Last updated on Saturday, 30th October 2010

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