" Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough—as most wrong theories are! "
H.G. Wells

Back in the day


SpaceShipOne Completes First Privately Funded Human Spaceflight

Unlike its privately funded predecessors, SpaceShipOne was actually manned, by a pilot and two passengers, when it flew to the edge of space in 2004. Developed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the suborbital space plane won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for launching three people—or their weight equivalent—into space twice within two weeks in a privately developed, reusable spacecraft. Where is SpaceShipOne currently on display?



The Centennial Light

The Centennial Light is the world's longest-lasting light bulb. Housed at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department in Livermore, California, the bulb was donated to the department in 1901. The longevity of the four-watt, carbon-filament, hand-blown bulb has been recognized by several sources, including Guinness World Records. It has reportedly only been turned off a handful of times, and it has been on continuously since it was switched off for 22 minutes in 1976 for what reason?

Born on a day like today


Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, and novelist who became the foremost exponent of existentialism in the 20th century. His first novel, Nausea, was one of many works depicting man as a lonely being burdened with a terrifying freedom. He served in World War II, was taken prisoner, escaped, and was involved in the French resistance, during which he wrote multiple works. In 1964, he became the first person to voluntarily decline the Nobel Prize in Literature. Why did he refuse it?

Last updated on Saturday, 22nd June 2013

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