Invented in 1929 by American physicist Robert Van de Graaff, the Van de Graaff generator is a device in which electrically charged particles are sprayed on a moving belt and carried to an insulated terminal in a hollow metal sphere, building up to create a lightning-like discharge. The first model was made using an ordinary silk ribbon from a five-and-dime store, but later models proved capable of generating millions of volts. Where is the world's largest Van de Graaff generator on display?
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Back in the day
A week and a half after a mysterious event left the entire 70-man crew of the Chinese, Ming-class submarine No. 361 dead at their posts, the stricken vessel was discovered and towed to shore. The official explanation for the disaster, that the crew suffocated when diesel engines failed to shut down while the vessel was submerged, leaves many questions unanswered. For example, if the vessel was submerged, how was it recovered? What else is strange about the circumstances surrounding the tragedy?
Born on a day like today
Franklin was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer who also served as governor of Tasmania. He is best remembered for presiding over a doomed expedition in the 1840s to chart the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. He and his crew fell prey to a host of ills, including starvation, disease, and lead poisoning. Of the entire expedition of nearly 130 men, not one is known to have survived. What evidence suggests that some of the crew members may have resorted to cannibalism?