This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox Scandal, when players on the Chicago White Sox, working in tandem with gangsters and professional gamblers, conspired to throw the World Series to their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds.

But the scandal wasn’t an aberration. Rochester Institute of Technology historian Rebecca Edwards writes about how, in the 19th century, gambling was the fuel that transformed baseball from a child’s game into the national pastime.

Some of our other favorite stories this week were quantum dots and brain research, how Mister Rogers’ faith shaped his neighborhood and the NBA’s challenge staying “woke” while in China.

A team photograph of the 1919 Chicago White Sox squad, many of whom would be implicated in throwing that year’s World Series. Heritage Auctions

How gambling built baseball – and then almost destroyed it

Rebecca Edwards, Rochester Institute of Technology

Up until the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, gambling and baseball had a marriage of convenience. A century later, gambling is again being seen as a solution to the sport's woes.

Red quantum dots glow inside a rat brain cell. Nanoscale Advances, 2019, 1, 3424 - 3442

Quantum dots that light up TVs could be used for brain research

Mengying Zhang, University of Washington

These tiny nanoparticles might provide a new way to see what's happening in the brain and even deliver treatments to specific cells – if researchers figure out how to use them safely and effectively.

Fred Rogers rehearses with some of his puppet friends in Pittsburgh,. Gene J. Puskarg/AP

How Mister Rogers’ faith shaped his idea of children’s television

L. Benjamin Rolsky, Monmouth University

A new film on beloved children's television icon Fred Rogers hits theaters next month. Rogers' moral values contributed to the power and appeal of his neighborhood.

Today’s video

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