Very Distant/Recent History

Happy 40th Birthday To World's Most Annoying Thing: The Mobile Phone

Mobile phones didn't really take off until the late 1990s, but the first of the things made a telephone call on this day in 1973. According to historical sources, Motorola DynaTAC inventor Martin Cooper placed that first mobile call to a rival inventor at Bell Labs. While the conversational details are lost to history, the first guy probably said something like "I'm kind of breaking up here, did you say 'seven,' seven p.m.?" And then the next guy likely said something along the lines of, "Gah, crap, I can't hear you at all. Just text me and I'll put it on my calendar. You still there? Hello? Hellooooo?"


Mississippi Decides To Finally Abolish Slavery, Because of Movie

Abraham Lincoln is the biggest action hero in Hollywood these days, with his character starring in such recent blockbusters as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Steven Spielberg movie about Lincoln's quieter side, and probably Django Unchained. As so often happens when a film captures the heart of America, a neurobiology professor at the University of Mississippi saw Lincoln and wondered if slavery was still allowed where he lives and works.

Dr. Ranjan Batra immigrated to the United States from India and became a U.S. citizen four years ago. With the zeal typical of the new citizen, Batra asked somebody to look on a website, which led to the discovery that [...]