Closely related to caffeine, theobromine is a toxic alkaloid found in cocoa, chocolate products, tea, and cola nuts. Also known as xantheose, it is bitter and colorless and acts as a diuretic, vasodilator, cardiac stimulant, and smooth muscle relaxant. Despite its name, the compound contains no bromine—a corrosive, toxic liquid element. Rather, its name is derived from the genus of the cacao tree, Theobroma, which is made up of the Greek roots theo and brosi and means what?
Back in the day
The German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact was one of a series of agreements leading to the formation of the Axis Powers. Ostensibly directed against the Comintern, an association of national communist parties that degenerated under Stalin into an instrument of Soviet politics, the pact contained a secret agreement stating that if either signatory power went to war with the USSR, the other would maintain a benevolent neutrality. What other countries eventually signed the treaty?
Born on a day like today
Benz was a German engineer credited with building the first automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine. His Motorwagen, the first commercial automobile, was first driven in 1885 and patented the next year. It had three wheels, an electric ignition, differential gears, and was water-cooled. Benz's familiarity with and fondness for bicycles inspired the design of his "horseless carriage." According to legend, who took one of Benz's early models on the first long-distance road trip?