" Giving comfort under affliction requires that penetration into the human mind, joined to that experience which knows how to soothe, how to reason, and how to ridicule; taking the utmost care never to apply those arts improperly. "
Henry Fielding

Back in the day


The National Basketball Association Is Founded

Prior to 1949, there were two main rival basketball organizations in the US—the National Basketball League, which had been founded in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America, which had been founded nearly a decade later. They merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 and racially integrated the following year. In 1995, the NBA expanded to include two Canadian teams, and in 1996, a women's league was founded. What rule, instituted in 1954, encouraged more shooting?



Sexual Cannibalism

Sexual cannibalism is the phenomenon in which an organism—typically a female arachnid, insect, or amphipod—kills and eats another member of the same species before, during, or after copulation. By consuming her partner, the female may gain certain nutritional benefits, and by staying long enough to allow himself to be eaten, the male may increase his chances of reproducing. Still, the practice is not entirely advantageous, so some males have developed what clever techniques to avoid being eaten?

Born on a day like today


Elisha Graves Otis

By 1852, Otis had already devised several inventions, including a safety brake for trains. While setting up a factory that year, he developed an automatic safety device to prevent heavy machinery from falling if a rope broke while the machinery was being hoisted. The first fail-safe, fall-safe passenger elevator quickly followed. It made possible the construction of skyscrapers, greatly altering the landscape of modern cities. What daring publicity stunt helped launch sales of Otis's elevators?

Last updated on Friday, 3rd August 2012

More sponsors