" In the sun-time, when the world is bounding forward full of life, we cannot stay to sigh and sulk ... but if the misfortune comes at 10PM, we read poetry or sit in the dark and think what a hollow world this is. "
Jerome K. Jerome

Back in the day


"Spider Dan" Scales 110-Story Sears Tower

After witnessing a deadly high-rise hotel fire, Dan Goodwin resolved to call attention to the need for better skyscraper firefighting and rescue techniques. Six months after the blaze, he donned a homemade Spider-Man suit and, using suction cups and climbing gear, began an ascent of Chicago's Sears Tower—then the world's tallest building. He reached the top seven hours later and was promptly arrested. What structure—formerly the world's tallest—did he climb with no equipment, twice in one day?



Siraitia grosvenorii: Longevity Fruit

While empirical studies have yet to show that the fruit of the Siraitia grosvenorii vine extends life, anecdotal evidence—the sheer number of centenarians living in Guangxi, China, where the plant is primarily cultivated—has led some to draw this conclusion. Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat things like heat stroke and sore throats, the fruit only recently caught the attention of Western scientists. What have studies of its medicinal properties shown thus far?

Born on a day like today


Igor Sikorsky

After studying engineering in Kiev, Sikorsky devoted himself to developing the helicopter. In 1910, after failing to build a workable model, he turned to fixed-wing airplane design, and, several years later, he built and flew the first multi-motored plane, a four-engine aircraft with an innovative enclosed cabin. Sikorsky immigrated to the US in 1919 and had continued success designing airplanes. How long would it be before he finally realized his dream of building his first working helicopter?

Last updated on Saturday, 25th May 2013

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