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Quote of the Day

  • Jerome K. Jerome
    Being poor is a mere trifle. It is being known to be poor that is the sting. Discuss
  • William Makepeace Thackeray
    I am tempted to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that ... imitation is suicide.

Word of the Day

  • shortsighted
    Definition: (adjective) Lacking foresight or scope. Synonyms: unforesightful, myopic, short. Usage: The shortsighted board members derided the plan, which would cost the company money at the outset but could set it on track to earn billions in future years. Discuss
  • buttonhole
    Definition: (verb) Detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors. Synonyms: lobby. Usage: It is not easy to buttonhole her for an interview.
  • harebrained
    Definition: (adjective) Very foolish. Synonyms: insane, mad. Usage: She devised a harebrained scheme to get her money back, but it ended up landing her in jail.

Today’s Birthday

  • Helen Brooke Taussig (1898)
    Now regarded as the founder of pediatric cardiology, Taussig was an American physician who, among other things, revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of "blue babies," babies whose heart malformations cause low blood oxygen content. She pioneered the use of fluoroscopy to identify defects in the heart and great vessels and devised a surgical treatment with Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas that saved thousands of infants. She also helped block the approval of what dangerous drug in the US? Discuss
  • Margaret Fuller (1810)
    One of the most influential American literary personalities of her day, Fuller was a critic, teacher, and woman of letters. She was an ardent feminist, and her Woman in the Nineteenth Century is now considered a classic piece of feminist literature. While working in Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller met and married a marquis. Exiled for their support of the failed 1848-49 revolution, they sailed for the US with their infant son. What disaster befell them at the end of their voyage?
  • Mary Cassatt (1844)
    Cassatt was an American figure painter and etcher. As a young art student, she moved to Paris, where she was inspired by the work of Edgar Degas, with whom she developed a friendship. She allied herself with the Impressionists early in her career, but, in the late 1880s, she began experimenting with other styles and techniques. Many of Cassatt's best-known works are intimate depictions of mothers and children. What cause did she take up when cataracts put a stop to her painting career?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • I'll Be Done in a "Jiffy"
    Dating to at least 1785, the term "jiffy" is used informally to refer to any unspecified short period of time, often the brief moment it will take to finish a task. Certain fields of science use the word technically to denote a specific unit of time—typically a fraction of a second. In electronics, for example, a jiffy is defined as the time between alternating current power cycles. In computing, a jiffy is the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt. What is a jiffy in astrophysics? Discuss
  • Fisticuffs
    Alternately known as fisticuffs, bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing and involves two combatants fighting without gloves or padding on their hands. Though closely related to ancient combat sports, it differs from street fighting in that there are specific rules that participants must observe, such as not striking an opponent who is already down. John L. Sullivan, who won a 75-round match in 1889, was one of the last great bare-knuckle boxers. Who are some other notable pugilists?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    The rivalry between soft drink manufacturers PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company—epitomized by a series of marketing campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s—is simply known as the Cola Wars. In their ongoing battle for supremacy in the soft drink market, the two companies have employed several different tactics, including commercials featuring pop stars, programs to reward loyal customers with free merchandise, and even revisions of their signature products, including what controversial changes?

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