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Quote of the Day

  • Agatha Christie
    I've always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worry and only half the royalties. Discuss
  • Gilbert Chesterton
    All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
  • Miguel de Cervantes
    There are two sorts of beauty, one of the mind, the other of the body; that of the mind displays and exhibits itself in intelligence, in modesty, in honorable conduct, in generosity, in good breeding...and when it is this sort of beauty...that is the attraction, love is apt to spring up suddenly and violently.

Word of the Day

  • large-minded
    Definition: (adjective) Marked by breadth or tolerance of views; broad-minded. Synonyms: liberal, tolerant. Usage: My plan must have seemed very foolish to her, but she was often large-minded about humoring the desires of other people. Discuss
  • wayfarer
    Definition: (noun) A traveler going on a trip. Synonyms: journeyer. Usage: A little way past the inn we came upon a notice-board whereon the lord of the manor warned all wayfarers against trespassing.
  • well-heeled
    Definition: (adjective) Having plenty of money. Synonyms: prosperous, well-off, well-to-do, comfortable, easy. Usage: The price tag is out of reach of all but the most well-heeled.

Today’s Birthday

  • Edvard Munch (1863)
    Best known as the painter of The Scream, Munch was a Norwegian artist and an important forerunner of expressionistic art. His early life was marked by the deaths of his mother and favorite sister, and he said about his father: "From him I inherited the seeds of madness." Aestheticizing his trauma, Munch visually explored primal themes like death, sex, and fear. Reaction to his stark and sometimes fearsome images caused his first major exhibition to be closed. How did he feel about this? Discuss
  • Hector Berlioz (1803)
    Berlioz was a French Romantic composer. He studied music in Paris against his parents' wishes, and his first great score, Symphonie fantastique, became a landmark of the Romantic era. An impassioned and contentious critic, he was constantly at war with the musical establishment. Although he was the most compelling French musical figure of his time, his distinctive compositional style kept almost all his music out of the repertory until the mid-20th century. What are his most famous works?
  • Emily Dickinson (1830)
    Dickinson is widely considered one of the greatest American poets. After attending Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke Seminary, she returned to her family home and spent the rest of her life there, writing. By 1860, she was boldly experimenting with language. Few of her poems were published in her lifetime, but after her death, her cache of poems was discovered, and heavily edited collections were published starting in 1890. It was not until what year that an unaltered collection was published?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • The
    Written in about 1180 by an Augustinian canon of Lincolnshire named Ormin, the Ormulum is a collection of homilies on the Gospels consisting of almost 19,000 lines of Middle English verse. Because Ormin uses his own system of spelling to indicate the proper pronunciation of his words, the Ormulum is invaluable to philologists studying Middle English phonology and tracing the development of English through the Norman conquests. Who is Walter, mentioned in the work’s dedication? Discuss
  • The Swedish Empire
    Between 1611 and 1718, the Kingdom of Sweden was one of the great powers of Europe. Sweden first became powerful during the reign of King Gustavus II. Through a war with Russia, he acquired Ingermanland and Karelia. From Poland, he took nearly all of Livonia. By his victories at Breitenfeld and Lützen in the Thirty Years War, Gustavus made Sweden the dominant Protestant power of continental Europe. Its southern provinces were recovered from Denmark in 1660. What brought an end to Sweden's power?
  • Anger
    Derived from an Old Norse word meaning "sorrow," anger is an emotion whose merits have been debated by philosophers and scientists alike since antiquity. Galen and Seneca, for example, regarded anger as a kind of madness and saw value in controlling it. Marcus Aurelius viewed it as a sign of weakness. Aristotle, however, believed anger to be useful for preventing injustice because it arises from perceived injustice. What have recent studies shown about the association between anger and optimism?

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