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Quote of the Day

  • Mark Twain
    Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. Discuss
  • Charles Darwin
    It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the 'race is for the strong' and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science.
  • Jack London
    The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Word of the Day

  • tuneful
    Definition: (adjective) Having a musical sound; especially a pleasing tune. Synonyms: melodious. Usage: Melodic and tuneful, his songs made me weep. Discuss
  • switchblade
    Definition: (noun) A pocketknife having a spring-operated blade that opens instantly when a release on the handle is pressed. Synonyms: flick-knife. Usage: When I heard his switchblade snap open, I knew that our verbal altercation was about to become something much more gruesome.
  • well-being
    Definition: (noun) The state of being healthy, happy, or prosperous. Synonyms: eudaimonia, welfare. Usage: Holistic medicine emphasizes the emotional as well as the physical well-being of the patient.

Today’s Birthday

  • Sir Joseph John "J. J." Thomson (1856)
    One of the founders of modern physics, Thomson helped revolutionize the knowledge of atomic structure. He is known primarily for his discovery of the electron and his investigation of its charge and mass, his development of the mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism, and his role in the discovery of isotopes and invention of mass spectrometry. His research into the electrical conductivity of gases earned him a Nobel Prize in 1906. What did Thomson originally call electrons? Discuss
  • Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (1706)
    The wife of a French marquis, du Châtelet defied convention in both her personal and professional life. She was a mathematician and physicist and wrote a number of scientific treatises as well as a translation of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. She had several extramarital affairs—the most enduring of which was with philosopher and writer Voltaire, who once described her as "a great man whose only fault was being a woman." How did she once think her way out of a gambling debt?
  • Margaret Mead (1901)
    A prolific writer and avid speaker, anthropologist Margaret Mead was instrumental in popularizing the anthropological concept of culture in the US. Though many later anthropologists have questioned both the accuracy of her observations and the soundness of her conclusions, she remains highly regarded for her many contributions to the field. Over the course of her career, Mead made numerous field trips to observe the peoples of Oceania. What honor was awarded to her posthumously?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Shamash
    One of the great deities in Mesopotamian religion, Shamash was the god of the Sun, who, with his father, the Moon god Sin, and the goddess Ishtar, was part of an astral triad of divinities. As the solar god, Shamash was the heroic conqueror of night and death, and he became known as the god of justice and equity. He was said to have presented the Code of Hammurabi to the Babylonian king, and at night he served as judge of the underworld. In what Babylonian epic is Shamash mentioned? Discuss
  • One
    Often known as the loneliest number, one, in mathematics, is the smallest whole number, the first cardinal number, and the first and second number in the Fibonacci sequence, the infinite sequence of numbers in which each term is the sum of the two terms preceding it. The glyph used today in the Western world to represent one—a vertical line, often with a serif at the top and sometimes a short horizontal line at the bottom—traces its roots back centuries. Is one a prime number?
  • Manes
    The mane is the long coarse hair that grows from the crest of the neck of certain mammals, including the lion, horse, gnu, cheetah, and giraffe. In horses, it grows from the poll—the area between the ears—down to the withers—the area between the shoulder blades—and includes the forelock, the lock of hair that grows from or falls on the forehead. Grooms may leave manes looking natural or they may thin, braid, band, or shave off this hair. What purpose is the mane thought to serve?

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