" Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. "
Charlotte Bronte

Back in the day


Basketball Star Earvin "Magic" Johnson Announces He Has HIV

Johnson had been a basketball star for more than a decade when he announced, at a press conference, that he had tested positive for HIV and would retire. He vowed to battle the disease, while confirming that neither his pregnant wife nor their unborn child was infected. As a popular athlete, Johnson helped combat the stigma of HIV, which was then predominantly associated with disproportionately affected groups such as drug addicts and homosexuals. Did Johnson ever return to basketball?



The Three Hares

The Three Hares is a circular motif found at sacred sites from China to England. It consists of three hares chasing each other in a circle. Used as early as the 6th century in Chinese cave temples, the symbol appears to have spread along trade routes. It appears in architecture and on headstones and in Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Christian art. It is a perceptual puzzle in that, although each rabbit has two ears, the total number of ears pictured is only three. How is this illusion achieved?

Born on a day like today


Lise Meitner

An eminent Austrian physicist, Meitner fled Nazi Germany for Sweden in 1938. There, she formulated the concept of nuclear fission and proposed the term for the process. Though the Nobel Prize for the discovery went to physicist Otto Hahn, the element meitnerium was named in her honor. She was critical of scientists who remained in Germany during the Nazi era yet staunchly refused to participate in the atomic bomb research that resulted from her work. Why did Hahn once give her a diamond ring?

Last updated on Wednesday, 7th November 2012

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