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Quote of the Day

  • Jonathan Swift
    The latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former. Discuss
  • Sophocles
    Fortune cannot aid those who do nothing.
  • Virginia Woolf
    I have outlived certain desires. I have lost friends, some by death...others through sheer inability to cross the street. I am not so gifted as at one time seemed likely.

Word of the Day

  • underscore
    Definition: (verb) Give extra weight to (a communication). Synonyms: emphasize. Usage: When I gave my son permission to attend the party, I made sure to underscore my willingness to ground him for life should he let a mere drop of alcohol touch his lips. Discuss
  • coruscate
    Definition: (verb) Be lively or brilliant or exhibit virtuosity. Synonyms: sparkle, scintillate. Usage: The flutist's music coruscated throughout the concert hall.
  • ailment
    Definition: (noun) An often persistent bodily disorder or disease; a cause for complaining. Synonyms: complaint, ill. Usage: She pretended that she was always well now, and concealed her ailments so craftily that we had to probe for them.

Today’s Birthday

  • Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907)
    One of the most important political figures in the history of modern Greece, Karamanlis helped rebuild Greece's economy while serving in various posts after WWII. Chosen as prime minister in 1955, he formed a government and a new conservative party, the National Radical Union. In 1960, he established an independent republic on Cyprus to ease tensions with Britain and Turkey over the island. He resigned in 1963 and lived in exile in Paris until 1974. What finally brought him back to Greece? Discuss
  • Anna Magnani (1908)
    An illegitimate child abandoned by her parents and raised by her grandparents in a Roman slum, Magnani overcame incredible odds to become an internationally acclaimed, Academy Award-winning actress. She began her performing career singing bawdy street songs in the nightclubs of Rome, but before long she was starring on the stage and screen, earning recognition for her dynamic and forceful portrayals of earthy, lower-class women. A believer in the supernatural, Magnani claimed to have what power?
  • Sarah Caldwell (1924)
    Caldwell was a violin prodigy from an early age. In 1957, she founded what would become the Opera Company of Boston. Notorious for her ability to avert financial crises and meet last-minute deadlines while overseeing every detail of production, she made the company one of the most distinguished and innovative in the US. With the growing success of her company, she began to appear as a guest conductor of major orchestras. In 1976, Caldwell became the first woman to do what?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • The Kit-Cat Club
    The Kit-Cat Club was an association of some of the best young writers and most prominent Whig politicians in early 18th-century London. Among the roughly four dozen members were figures such as Sir Robert Walpole, William Congreve, and Joseph Addison, in addition to a number of dukes. They first met in the tavern of Christopher Catling, whose mutton pies were called kit-cats. In its time, the club was well known for drinking toasts to notable women of the day. Who were some of those honored? Discuss
  • Untitled
    Created in the early 1950s by Osamu Tezuka—a Japanese artist revered by fans as the "God of Manga"—Astro Boy was an influential and successful comic book series. In 1963, it was adapted into a television program considered to have been one of the first expressions of the style now known as anime. The series follows the adventures of a powerful robot that was designed to resemble a real boy. What iconic American animator did Tezuka meet at the New York World’s Fair in 1964?
  • Plum Island Animal Disease Center
    Though it is located just off the coast of heavily populated Long Island, New York, Plum Island has no sizable civilian population of its own. Any wild mammal found there is killed on sight. That is because the island is home to a federal research center that investigates animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever. Fueling public imagination about the island, several unidentified animal carcasses have washed up on nearby beaches—including what notable "monster" in 2008?

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