" When he applied his mind to a problem, it became at once an enthralling arena, in which there went whirling a chariot-race of ideas and inventive fancies. "
Herbert N. Casson

Back in the day


Saladin Begins Siege of Jerusalem

Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders in 1099 during the First Crusade and served as the capital of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem for most of the 12th century, but it was besieged and captured by Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim warrior and Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, after his decisive victory at Hattin in 1187. The Crusaders negotiated a surrender, and the two parties agreed to a peaceful handover of the city to Saladin, preventing the sort of massacre that had occurred when?



Wok Racing

A wok is a large metal pan with a rounded bottom used in Asian cooking and, in recent years, for racing. Developed by German TV host Stefan Raab as the result of a bet, wok racing involves individuals or teams of four riding woks down an Olympic bobsled track. The first official Wok World Championship was held in 2003 and has continued each year since, drawing celebrities as well as Olympic athletes. What kitchen utensils do racers wear on their feet as protective gear?

Born on a day like today


James Dewar

Dewar was a British chemist and physicist best known for his work on the properties of matter at very low temperatures and the liquefaction of gases. In the course of his work, he liquefied and solidified hydrogen and invented the Dewar flask. Used for storing liquefied gases, his Dewar flask—a double-walled flask with an insulating vacuum between the inner and outer walls—became essential in low-temperature scientific work. What everyday item was patterned after Dewar's flask?

Last updated on Tuesday, 20th September 2011

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