" A God that can be understood is no God. Who can explain the Infinite in words? "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


Svetlana Savitskaya Becomes the First Woman to Perform a Spacewalk

Savitskaya is a former Soviet female aviator and cosmonaut who flew aboard Soyuz T-7 in 1982, becoming the second woman in space some 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova. She logged nearly 20 days in space during her career, including three and a half hours spent outside the Salyut 7 space station in 1984, when she became the first woman to perform a spacewalk. Before becoming a cosmonaut, she was a test and sport pilot and a parachutist. What world records did she set?



Vending Machines

First-century engineer and mathematician Hero of Alexandria is credited with inventing the world's first vending machine, a coin-operated holy water dispenser. Modern vending machines were introduced in the 18th-century and were restricted chiefly to selling penny gum and candy. In 1926, the invention of a cigarette-vending machine started a trend toward selling higher-priced merchandise, and soft drink and nickel-candy machines soon followed. What unusual vending machines can be found today?

Born on a day like today


Louise Brown

Brown was the first baby to be conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure used to overcome infertility in which a woman's eggs are removed, fertilized with sperm outside the body, and then inserted into the uterus. Now a commonplace procedure, IVF was developed in the 1970s by British medical researchers Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards and was subject to much criticism before Brown's birth. Who was the first woman conceived through IVF to give birth naturally to a baby of her own?

Last updated on Monday, 25th July 2011

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