" The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


US President Zachary Taylor Dies in Office

On a hot 4th of July in Washington, DC, Taylor—who had been US president for just 16 months—enjoyed a cool snack of cherries and milk. Five days later, he was dead. The official cause of death was listed as gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can be caused by food poisoning. His remains were exhumed in 1991 and showed no evidence of foul play. According to one historian, Taylor could have recovered had he not been bled, blistered, and given what cocktail of drugs?




Mani was the Iranian founder of Manichaeism, a once-widespread but now-extinct religion that centered on the struggle between good and evil. Inspired by visions of an angel, Mani saw himself as the last in a line of prophets that included Adam, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Jesus. His preaching was tolerated until Persian king Bahram I's reign in the late 3rd century, during which time Mani was imprisoned. Though little is reliably known about his life, by many accounts he died in what gruesome way?

Born on a day like today


Oliver Wolf Sacks

Sacks is a British-American neurologist and writer. He immigrated to the US in 1960 to study neurology at the University of California, and in 1965 he joined the faculty at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Many of his books relate case histories of neurologically damaged people, particularly those afflicted with unusual conditions. His 1973 book Awakenings, which was made into a film in 1990, chronicles his efforts to treat the survivors of what mysterious sickness?

Last updated on Monday, 9th July 2012

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