Medicine Macabre – Eyes and Needles – Part 2!

What do you do when you have severe cataracts, a pressing need for visual acuity, and an unscrubbed, unscrupulous scalpel-wielding surgeon with a disturbingly eager expression on his face? Well, bite down hard on something solid, and begin to pray…

October 22nd, 1883 – Faust’s Demons Open “the Old Met”

Sometimes referred to as “the old Met”, the Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22nd, 1883, with a performance of Faust. It was located at 1411 Broadway, occupying the whole block between West 39th Street and West 40th Street on the west side of the street in the Garment District of Midtown Manhattan. Nicknamed “The […]

Celebrate Halloween Like the Victorians

In some ways Halloween is fairly recent phenomena, and incredibly old in others. The roots of this holiday we all know and love come from around 2,500 years ago in Celtic tradition. The festival of Samhain, or Summer’s End, was celebrated on October 31 and was all about the transition between seasons and preparations for […]

October 17th, 1933 – Einstein Evades the Nazis

Early in 1933, German scientist Albert Einstein recognized what was happening with the rise of the Nazis and the newly elected Chancellor Hitler. Upon Einstein’s third visit to the United States in February 1933, he realized that he could not return to Germany and began plans to flee the tyranny of the Nazi Party. The following […]

October 10th, 1846 – The Discovery of Triton

Triton is the largest moon of the planet Neptune, discovered on October 10th, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, which is an orbit in the opposite direction to its planet’s rotation. At 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) in diameter, it is the seventh-largest […]

October 7th, 1849 – The Death of Poe

On this day 167 years ago, a frail man, haunted by his imagination, lost a four day battle with an alcohol induced delirium that consumed him. Reportedly, in his fevered and tormented last days of life, all he could muster to say was repeated cries of “Reynolds,” until his last breath uttered “Lord help my […]

Medicine Macabre – Eyes and Needles – Part 1

The oldest and most common medical procedure is cataract removal – and through the ages, the various methods by which this was performed was not exactly what you’d call painless…

September 28th, 1889 – The Measure of a Meter

The General Conference on Weights and Measures (French: Conférence générale des poids et mesures – CGPM) is the senior of the three Inter-governmental organizations established in 1875 under the terms of the Metre Convention (French: Convention du Mètre) to represent the interests of member states. The treaty, which also set up two further bodies, the […]

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