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Quote of the Day

  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    Whence come the highest mountains? ... They come out of the sea. That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of their summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its height. Discuss
  • George Eliot
    If a man means to be hard, let him keep in his saddle and speak from that height, above the level of pleading eyes, and with the command of a distant horizon.
  • Henry David Thoreau
    I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject.

Word of the Day

  • umbrage
    Definition: (noun) A feeling of anger caused by being offended. Synonyms: offense. Usage: I had tried to phrase it politely, but he still took umbrage at my question. Discuss
  • vendetta
    Definition: (noun) A feud between two families or clans that arises out of a slaying and is perpetuated by retaliatory acts of revenge. Synonyms: blood feud. Usage: No one remembers how the vendetta between the families began, but it will only end when the desire for revenge is not heeded.
  • vacuous
    Definition: (adjective) Devoid of intelligence. Synonyms: asinine, fatuous, inane, mindless. Usage: The interviewer could tell by the candidate's vacuous comments that he was not qualified for the position.

Today’s Birthday

  • Farinelli (1705)
    Farinelli was an Italian castrato—a singer castrated in boyhood to create an artificial soprano or alto voice. Renowned for his vocal power and agility, he became the greatest opera star of his time but abandoned the public stage for the court of Philip V, where he received an astronomical fee for his only duty: singing the same four songs to the king each night. After retiring, Farinelli received illustrious guests like Mozart at his villa in Bologna. Why were his remains exhumed in 2006? Discuss
  • Gertrude Belle Elion (1918)
    After teaching chemistry because jobs for female researchers were then scarce, Elion got work as an assistant at a drug company and went on to become a pioneering US pharmacologist. With George Hitchings, she developed treatments for leukemia, autoimmune disorders, urinary tract infections, gout, malaria, and viral herpes. Although Nobel Prizes are rarely awarded to drug company employees, the duo shared in the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology. To what did Elion attribute her interest in science?
  • Lord Byron (1788)
    Despite being a social outcast—and self-conscious of his noticeable limp—Byron became the rock star of the Romantic period. His poetic travelogue Childe Harold's Pilgrimage won him fame, while his complex personality, dashing good looks, and scandalous love affairs captured the imagination of Europe. His literary legacy includes the satirical epic Don Juan and the lonely, rebellious, and brooding "Byronic hero." Who famously described Byron as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know"?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Untitled
    The Incoherence of the Philosophers is a landmark 11th-century text by al-Ghazali of the rational-based Asharite school of Muslim theology. In it, he criticizes the Avicennian school of Islamic philosophy, accusing its followers of being irreligious. Among al-Ghazali's 20 charges against them is their inability to prove the existence of God and inability to prove the impossibility of the existence of two gods. Who refuted al-Ghazali's views with The Incoherence of the Incoherence? Discuss
  • The St. Augustine Monster
    When a large carcass washed ashore on the coast near St. Augustine, Florida, tales of the "St. Augustine Monster" were born. Two boys on bicycles first spotted the carcass on the evening of November 30, 1896, and reported their discovery to local physician DeWitt Webb. Webb determined that the carcass was at least 18 feet (5 m) long and estimated its weight at nearly 5 tons, if not more. Webb believed it was the remains of a giant octopus, but what has more recent analysis concluded?
  • The Siachen Glacier
    Located 18,875 feet (5,753 m) above sea level in the Himalayan Mountains—between the boundary separating India and Pakistan—the Siachen Glacier is considered the world's highest battlefield. Since India launched a successful military operation there in 1984, thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops have populated the otherwise uninhabited area. However, more soldiers have died from the harsh weather conditions than from combat. What effects has the human presence had on the glacier?

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