" Misfortune, n.: The kind of fortune that never misses. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Pablo Escobar Escapes from His Luxury Prison

By 1989, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was one of the world's richest men. At the height of his success, his Medellín cartel controlled 80% of the global cocaine market. Even after he was incarcerated, he continued to conduct business from the resort-like Colombian prison that had been built to his specifications. In 1992, in an effort to avoid extradition to the US, Escobar escaped. He was killed by police 16 months later. His intimidation tactic of plata o plomo translates to what?



Bacterial Conjugation

First observed in 1946, bacterial conjugation is the transfer of genetic material between bacterial cells through a bridge-like connection during direct contact between the cells. The transferred information is often beneficial to the recipient cell and can include material involved in antibiotic resistance. The process is easily interrupted—some scientists have disrupted it simply using a blender—and such breaks stop the transfer. How does the transfer of genetic material take place?

Born on a day like today


Edward Hopper

Hopper was an American painter who supported himself as a commercial illustrator until he gained recognition in the mid-1920s with his now-iconic scenes of American life. His dramatically lit works often feature still, anonymous figures inside geometric buildings and evoke a haunting sense of isolation that was his hallmark. His famous Nighthawks depicts a mostly empty, brightly lit diner on an otherwise dark, desolate street at night. What was said to be Hopper's favorite thing to paint?

Last updated on Sunday, 22nd July 2012

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