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Quote of the Day

  • Sir Walter Scott
    I have heard men talk of the blessings of freedom, ... but I wish any wise man would teach me what use to make of it now that I have it. Discuss
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Nature abhors the old, and old age seems the only disease; all others run into this one.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs.

Word of the Day

  • risible
    Definition: (adjective) Arousing or provoking laughter. Synonyms: amusing, comic, comical, funny, laughable, mirthful. Usage: The dramatic performance's unintentionally trite and risible dialogue drew hearty laughs from the audience. Discuss
  • solace
    Definition: (verb) To give comfort or cheer to (a person) in time of sorrow or distress. Synonyms: comfort, console, soothe. Usage: I grieved quietly and solaced myself with the knowledge that she was in a better place.
  • pensive
    Definition: (adjective) Deeply or seriously thoughtful. Synonyms: contemplative, meditative, musing, pondering, reflective, ruminative, brooding, broody. Usage: Emma's pensive meditations, as she walked home, were not interrupted; but on entering the parlor, she found those who must rouse her.

Today’s Birthday

  • Pierre Gassendi (1592)
    As a priest and a professor, Gassendi lectured on theology in his native southeastern France. However, as a philosopher, scientist, and astronomer, he was compelled to try to reconcile his scientific beliefs with the teachings of the church. Dissatisfied with the teachings of Aristotle, he came to espouse empiricism and atomism, the belief that tiny, indestructible particles form the basic building blocks of the entire universe. In 1631, he became the first person to observe what? Discuss
  • Sophia Jex-Blake (1840)
    In 1858, Jex-Blake enrolled in college against the wishes of her parents. She struggled to find a medical school that would accept women, and though she persuaded the University of Edinburgh to admit her, she could not graduate. She took her fight to Parliament, which passed a law enabling women to receive medical degrees. Jex-Blake founded two medical schools for women, and, after obtaining her degree in 1877, became the third female doctor in the UK. What became of her Edinburgh home?
  • Allan Haines Lockheed (1889)
    Though Malcolm and Allan Loughead attended only elementary school, the mechanically gifted brothers built their first airplane in 1913. Malcolm soon left the industry, but Allan persisted. Though several of his aircraft companies failed, his name—with the spelling changed to Lockheed—would eventually be connected to one of the world's largest aerospace manufacturers. Who once turned down a flight in Lockheed's first plane by saying he would not fly in any plane "for all the money in California"?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Endurance Riding
    Endurance riding is an equestrian sport in which horseback riders race long distances, usually 50 or 100 miles (80 or 160 km). To ensure the safety of the horses during the rides, veterinarians periodically inspect the animals and eliminate from competition any horse deemed unfit. Although any breed can compete, Arabian horses often dominate the top levels of the sport due to their natural speed and stamina. How long do winners usually take to cross the finish line in 100-mile (160-km) races? Discuss
  • The Portuguese Bank Note Crisis
    Perpetrated by Portuguese criminal Alves dos Reis, the Portuguese Bank Note Crisis was one of the largest frauds in history. In 1924, Reis forged a contract that fooled a legitimate print company into printing illegitimate banknotes for him. By the time his scheme was revealed, Reis had introduced into circulation banknotes equivalent to nearly 1% of Portugal's gross domestic product at the time, causing widespread economic and political repercussions. How did he initially cover up his scam?
  • Murder, Inc.
    Murder, Inc., is the name given by the press to the band of professional killers who operated throughout the US in the 1930s and 40s as the enforcement arm of the Syndicate, a confederation of organized crime groups. Allegedly protected by corrupt politicians, they were able to commit well over 100 murders before law enforcement authorities launched a campaign against the mob that resulted in a number of convictions and executions. Who were some of the notorious members of Murder, Inc.?

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