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Quote of the Day

  • Sophocles
    Man's worst ill is stubbornness of heart. Discuss
  • Rene Descartes
    The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.
  • Sir Walter Scott
    There is a vulgar incredulity, which in historical matters, as well as in those of religion, finds it easier to doubt than to examine.

Word of the Day

  • ingrate
    Definition: (noun) A person who shows no gratitude. Synonyms: thankless wretch, ungrateful person. Usage: This bird was a godsend to us, and I should be an ingrate if I forgot to make honorable mention of him in these pages. Discuss
  • smattering
    Definition: (noun) A small, scattered amount or number. Synonyms: handful. Usage: Her skin had a healthy glow, and her nose was dotted with a smattering of freckles.
  • preachment
    Definition: (noun) A tiresome or unwelcome moral lecture or discourse; tedious sermonizing. Synonyms: homily. Usage: Don't torment me with your preachments now, unless you want to kill me outright.

Today’s Birthday

  • Harry Houdini (1874)
    Born Erik Weisz, Houdini was an American magician, escape artist, and silent film star famed for his escapes from bonds of every sort—locks, handcuffs, straitjackets, and underwater chests. One of his most notable non-escape illusions was performed in 1918, when he had an elephant vanish onstage. In his later years, he campaigned against magicians and mind readers who claimed supernatural powers and even took aim at Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, from whom he derived his name. How did Houdini die? Discuss
  • Wernher von Braun (1912)
    Devoted to the pursuit of rocketry and spaceflight since his teenage years, German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was responsible for the successful development of the German V-2 rocket, thousands of which were launched against London and Antwerp during World War II's final year. Nevertheless, at the close of the war, von Braun was brought to the US and soon became a prime figure in the cold war arms race and later in the space program. What notable American projects did he work on?
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948)
    Andrew Lloyd Webber is a highly successful British composer of musical theatre whose scores include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and two of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time: Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. Lloyd Webber has won multiple Tony and Grammy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe and an Oscar, and was knighted in 1992. Cats was inspired by the work of what noted modernist author?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Bananas
    Bananas rank fourth after rice, wheat, and maize in human food consumption. They are grown in 130 countries worldwide, more than any other fruit crop. In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to the soft, sweet "dessert" bananas that are usually eaten raw. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit, generally used in cooking rather than eaten raw, are typically known as what? Discuss
  • Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)
    ESP is an alleged ability to acquire information by means other than the five main senses of taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing. The term implies sources of information unknown to science. Types of ESP include clairvoyance, aura reading, telepathy, and astral projection. The study of such phenomena is often dubbed "parapsychology." Zener cards were a common research tool for parapsychologists in the early 20th century. What is drawn on each card, and how are they used?
  • Migraines
    A migraine is a headache characterized by recurrent attacks of severe pain, usually on one side of the head. It may be preceded by flashes or spots before the eyes or a ringing in the ears, and accompanied by double vision, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. It affects women 3 times as often as men and is frequently inherited. Although the exact cause is unknown, evidence suggests a genetically transmitted functional disturbance of cranial circulation. What is the origin of the word "migraine?"

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