Worst chess defeat

In simultaneous play, a chess master competes against multiple opponents at the same time. In 1951, International Master Robert Wade began such an exhibition match with 30 teenage schoolboys from Moscow. He would not win one game. Robert Wade was an influential figure in Western chess circles: he earned the rank of International Master, played … Read more

Disney drops bid to trademark Day of the Dead

Disney has dropped attempts to trademark the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead festival for the purposes of a new Pixar animated film following angry online protests. Critics took to social media after it emerged that the studio was applying to trademark the term “Dia de los Muertos” for merchandising purposes. Disney-owned Pixar’s film about the famously … Read more

Document: The Symbolism Survey

In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction. Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? he asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in … Read more

Dr. Donald Hopkins helped wipe smallpox from the planet. He won’t rest until he’s done the same for Guinea worm disease.

At an open-air hospital in northern Ghana, Donald Hopkins watched a small girl endure a medical ordeal unseen in the United States. It was 2007, and four-year-old Rafia Fusseini was getting treated for Guinea worm, a parasite that infected her after she drank contaminated water and then grew inside her body. Now it was burrowing out … Read more

A tribute to Sir Roger Bannister

Sir Roger Bannister passed away peacefully on 3 March, aged 88, his family has announced.   Sir Roger Bannister had a special connection to the hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. It was during his time at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School (from 1951 to 1955) that he became the first person in history to … Read more

12 (Non-Sexual) Uses for 900 Numbers in Decades Past

The term “900 number” probably conjures up images of phone sex operators or, even worse, teen heartthrobs tricking young girls into running up their parents’ phone bills. But during the 1980s and 1990s, the heyday of 900 numbers, callers could do all sorts of things simply by dialing 1-900 and having a charge added to … Read more