" I is the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Shakespeare's Othello Performed for the First Time

First performed at London's Whitehall Palace, Shakespeare's Othello—a timeless story of jealousy, betrayal, and racism—is still studied and debated today. The play is likely an adaptation of a short story by Italian writer Cinthio called "Un Capitano Moro" and may have been inspired by certain events of the day—such as the arrival of a Moorish delegation in London in 1600. In Shakespeare's tale, the protagonist strangles his wife, but in Cinthio's story, she is killed in what brutal way?



Cataract Surgery

A cataract is an opacity of the lens of the eye, which can cause impaired vision or blindness. Because cataracts are a common result of normal aging, most people over age 60 have cataracts to some degree. In fact, cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the US. One early remedy, developed thousands of years ago, involved using a needle to pierce the eye and push the lens out of the field of vision. In what regions is this dangerous, often blinding, technique still employed?

Born on a day like today


Grantland Rice

Born in Tennessee, Rice began his career as a reporter with the Nashville News in 1901 before moving to New York. There, he became known as the "Dean of American Sportswriters." For decades, he was in charge of selecting the All-American football team for Collier's magazine. In his widely syndicated column, "The Sportlight," Rice coined some of sports' most memorable phrases. What famous quote about winning and losing is derived from one of Rice's poems?

Last updated on Friday, 2nd November 2012

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