Compost is a dark, soil-like substance made of decomposed plant material. It is generally used in agriculture to improve soil structure and as a form of fertilizer. A range of methods and tools can be used for composting, but the process can also be as simple as letting a pile of dead plant matter—such as grass clippings or vegetable waste—sit and decompose for a year or more. Even in winter, the interior of the pile will remain hot due to the digestive action of microbes. What is "compost tea"?
Back in the day
Goodyear was the inventor of vulcanization, a process that makes rubber harder, less soluble, and more durable. Previously, rubber products were sticky and volatile, often melting in heat or hardening in cold. He obtained a patent for vulcanization in 1844 but was still badly in debt at the time of his death. Goodyear had no official connection to the famed Goodyear Tire Company, which was founded decades later and named in his honor. Why was he in prison when he began experimenting with rubber?
Born on a day like today
Italian comic book author Hugo Pratt spent his early childhood in Venice and moved with his parents to Ethiopia when he was 10. Following WWII, he returned to Italy, but he did not remain there for long. Pratt traveled widely, and his wanderlust is mirrored in his best-known character, Corto Maltese, a roving sea captain and adventurer. A meticulous researcher, Pratt often incorporated actual historic figures and events into Maltese's fictional adventures. Where was Pratt imprisoned as a child?