" All truly great art is optimistic. The individual artist is happy in his creative work. The fact that practically all great art is tragic does not in any way change the above thesis. "
Upton Sinclair

Back in the day


LSD Is First Synthesized by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann

Ergot, a toxic fungus that grows on rye, can cause spasms and hallucinations if accidentally ingested. In 1938, Hofmann was researching potentially useful derivatives of ergot when he first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, he did not discover its hallucinogenic properties until five years later, when he accidentally absorbed some of the substance through his fingertips. In 1947, his laboratory introduced LSD as a psychiatric drug. What is "Bicycle Day"?



The Serpent Mound

Located in rural Adams County, Ohio, the Serpent Mound is an effigy of a snake built into the earth. Believed to have been created around 1070 CE, the curving, grassy mound is about 1,330 feet (405 m) long and about 3 feet (1 m) high. Though scholars originally attributed the mound to the Adena culture, the effigy has more recently been dated to the time of the Fort Ancient culture. It is still unclear who built it, or why. What unusual event might have prompted the building of the mound?

Born on a day like today


George Simon Kaufman

Kaufman was an American dramatist and humorist who co-wrote more than 40 plays, many of which became tremendously successful. His collaboration with Moss Hart produced such plays as Once in a Lifetime and You Can't Take It With You, and he also worked on the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Kaufman was also an influential drama critic for New York newspapers and was known for his caustic wit. What did he once suggest as a way to avoid crowds during a flu epidemic?

Last updated on Friday, 16th November 2012

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