" If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


Lego Patents Its Interlocking Plastic Bricks

The founder of Lego, a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen, began making wooden toys in 1932. By the late 1940s, he had begun making plastic ones, including "automatic binding bricks," which he patented in 1958. Today, Lego produces roughly 20 billion of those bricks annually, and today's pieces are still compatible with the originals. By producing some 306 million miniature, functioning replicas of this item each year, Lego could be considered the world's leading manufacturer of what?




Also known as suicide chess or loser's chess, antichess is a variation on the traditional game, but one in which the objective is to get all of one's own pieces captured. Participants are compelled to capture an opponent's pieces whenever the opportunity arises, while earnestly attempting to maneuver their own pieces into hopelessly vulnerable positions. There is no check or checkmate. A player wins by losing all of his or her pieces, including the king. How can a stalemate be resolved?

Born on a day like today



In her highly eventful life, French novelist Colette freely flouted convention and repeatedly scandalized the public, but by her later years, she had become a national icon. Her numerous novels are marked by sensitive observations—particularly of women—and an intimate style. Among her works are The Vagabond, a fictionalized account of her time as a music-hall performer, and Gigi, a comedy about a girl reared to be courtesan. In 1907, she nearly caused a riot by doing what on stage?

Last updated on Monday, 28th January 2013

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