Most inventors strive for weeks, months, or years to perfect their products. (Thomas Edison tried thousands of different light bulb filaments before arriving at the ideal mixture of tungsten.) But sometimes, brilliance strikes by accident. Here's a salute to the scientists, chefs, and everyday folk who stumbled upon greatness – and, more important, shared their mistakes with the world.UPDATE: After great reader feedback, we've added five additional accidental inventions: Stainless steel, plastic, ice cream cones, Post-it Notes, and matches.
Voter ID laws enacted recently in several states have taken center stage this election cycle. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled Tuesday that the state could not implement its new voter ID law until after this year's November elections. As the fifth installment of our One Minute Debate series for election 2012, three writers give their brief take on whether US states should require voter ID.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, saying Iran is under a "continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists." As the fourth installment of our One Minute Debate series for election 2012, three writers give their brief take on what the United States should do about Iran's nuclear program.
London, this year's host of the Olympics, is also home to a bank scandal that threatens to rock the financial world as much as the Games influence the world of sports. Here's why: Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) is a global benchmark for interest rates that reaches deep into the international financial system. Allegations that banks rigged those rates means that everyone from mortgage-holders and indebted students to cities and mutual funds may have had their interest rates unnaturally altered. Already tainted by other scandals, banks are under investigation because of charges that they profited illegally from their rate-rigging scheme. The mess further taints big banks and puts more strain on the credibility of the global financial system. Here are five ways the Libor scandal could affect you: