" Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. "
Alexandre Dumas

Back in the day


Louis Pasteur Successfully Tests His Rabies Vaccine

Pasteur was a pioneer in the field of germ theory. In 1881, the inventor of pasteurization perfected a way to isolate and weaken germs, and he went on to develop a vaccine against anthrax in sheep. He soon turned his attention to researching rabies. In 1885, he inoculated a 9-year-old boy who had been badly mauled by a rabid dog. The vaccine likely prevented the boy from contracting rabies, which then meant certain death. How did Pasteur's chickens accidentally get vaccinated against cholera?




Chapbooks were small, inexpensive pamphlets popular in Europe and America from the 16th century until the mid-19th century. They contained of a variety of reading material, including folklore, reports of crimes, ballads, and Bible stories, and reveal much about popular culture at the time. Sold by itinerant agents known as "chapmen" for as little as a penny, they were typically unsigned, undated, and flimsy. After they were read, they were often put to use in what other ways?

Born on a day like today


Merv Griffin

Originally a singer and nightclub performer, Griffin first achieved wider fame in the early 1950s with the hit song I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts. He then shifted his focus to television, hosting The Merv Griffin Show from 1965 to 1986. He created the popular game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! and wrote the latter's famous theme song. Later, he invested in casinos, resorts, and hotels. What humorous epitaph was inscribed on his gravestone?

Last updated on Friday, 6th July 2012

More sponsors