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Quote of the Day

  • Sophocles
    He who throws away a friend is as bad as he who throws away his life. Discuss
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery
    There are so many unpleasant things in the world already that there is no use in imagining any more.
  • Ambrose Bierce
    Diplomacy, n.: The patriotic art of lying for one's country.

Word of the Day

  • pathos
    Definition: (noun) A quality, as of an experience or a work of art, that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness, or sorrow. Synonyms: poignancy. Usage: The documentary film captured the pathos of the refugee's situation, and there was not a dry eye in the theater when the movie ended. Discuss
  • superannuated
    Definition: (adjective) Retired or ineffective because of advanced age. Synonyms: over-the-hill, overaged. Usage: The company has a pension plan that provides financial assistance to some of its superannuated employees.
  • preponderance
    Definition: (noun) A superiority in numbers or amount. Synonyms: prevalence, extensiveness. Usage: The preponderance of the evidence strongly supports his guilt.

Today’s Birthday

  • Edward Hopper (1882)
    Hopper was an American painter who supported himself as a commercial illustrator until he gained recognition in the mid-1920s with his now-iconic scenes of American life. His dramatically lit works often feature still, anonymous figures inside geometric buildings and evoke a haunting sense of isolation that was his hallmark. His famous Nighthawks depicts a mostly empty, brightly lit diner on an otherwise dark, desolate street at night. What was said to be Hopper's favorite thing to paint? Discuss
  • Isaac Stern (1920)
    Born in Ukraine, Stern came to the US as an infant and began studying violin as a child. He made his New York debut at 17 and toured extensively after World War II. A cultural ambassador, he performed in the Soviet Union and China as one of the world's top violin virtuosos. In 1960, he formed a famous trio with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose. Stern helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts and is noted for having saved what landmark institution from demolition?
  • Alexander the Great (356 BCE)
    The son of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle and became king at 20. One of the greatest generals in ancient history, he conquered much of Greece and Persia before his troops mutinied at the prospect of having to sack India as well. At the age of 33, he died of a fever on his way home after more than a decade of conquest. His empire was the greatest that had existed until that time and spread Hellenism far and wide. What city did Alexander name after his horse?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • The Pearl of Lao Tzu
    Linked to multiple legends, the Pearl of Lao Tzu is the largest known pearl in the world, measuring 9.45 inches (24 centimeters) in diameter and weighing 14.1 pounds (6.4 kilograms). Reportedly extracted from a giant clam off the coast of the Philippines in 1934, the pearl has been labeled "The Pearl of Allah" by some who believe it resembles the face of Muhammad and has also been connected to a legend involving the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. What is the pearl's estimated value? Discuss
  • Silverpit Crater
    Discovered under the North Sea off the coast of the UK during an analysis of seismic data collected during oil exploration, the Silverpit crater may have been formed as much as 74 million years ago, perhaps when a large projectile impacted Earth's surface. Though the crater bears features similar to those of the impact crater Valhalla found on Jupiter's moon Callisto, many scientists question whether such a collision created Silverpit. What other theories about its origin have been proposed?
  • The Habiru
    Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources recorded roughly 3,200 to 4,000 years ago mention the Habiru, a group of people found throughout the Fertile Crescent, which spanned the Levant, Mesopotamia, and ancient Egypt. Depending on the source and epoch, the Habiru are variously described as nomads, rebels, outlaws, mercenaries, bowmen, slaves, or migrant laborers. Though opinion remains divided on this issue, some scholars associate the Habiru with what ethnic group?

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