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Quote of the Day

  • Rudyard Kipling
    Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky;And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. Discuss
  • Oscar Wilde
    Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.

Word of the Day

  • cacophony
    Definition: (noun) Jarring, discordant sound; dissonance. Synonyms: blare, blaring, clamor, din. Usage: I heard a cacophony of horns during the traffic jam. Discuss
  • exacerbate
    Definition: (verb) Make worse. Synonyms: aggravate, worsen, exasperate. Usage: The heavy rainfall merely exacerbated the region's flood problems.
  • animadversion
    Definition: (noun) Strong criticism. Synonyms: censure. Usage: I meant no animadversions against any one, and certainly intended no disrespectful allusions to your mother.

Today’s Birthday

  • Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, the "Lion of Bombay" (1845)
    Mehta was a leading Indian lawyer, politician, and activist during the time of British rule in India. Though he was not directly opposed to the crown, he advocated for greater Indian autonomy and self-government. He is considered the father of municipal government in Bombay and promoted education, sanitation, and healthcare reforms in the city and around India. In 1885, he helped found the Indian National Congress, and he later served as its president. What was his opinion of English culture? Discuss
  • Regina Jonas (1902)
    After being denied ordination at least once, German Jewess Regina Jonas finally found a rabbi willing to defy convention and make her, in 1935, the first ordained woman rabbi. A victim of the Holocaust, Jonas's story went forgotten for many years, only coming to light when some of her writings, including a document titled "Lectures of the One and Only Woman Rabbi, Regina Jonas," were rediscovered long after her death at the hands of the Nazis. Where was she when she delivered these lectures?
  • Constantine I of Greece (1868)
    The reign of Constantine I was a trying one. He succeeded his father as king of Greece in 1913 and was almost immediately faced with World War I. His neutralist, yet essentially pro-German, attitude caused the Allies and his Greek opponents to force his abdication and send him into exile in 1917. His leading opponent's fall from power in 1920 opened the door for Constantine to be restored to the throne, but his homecoming was short lived. Why did he abdicate for a second time in 1922?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Lost Films
    When not a single copy of a film is known to exist in any archive, it is considered lost. An estimated 90% of all American silent films and 50% of American sound films made before 1950 are believed to have been lost, in part because early nitrate film was chemically unstable and prone to rapid decomposition. Early film was highly flammable too, and fires claimed more than a few archives. While many of Charlie Chaplin's films survived, he sought to destroy his own A Woman of the Sea. Why? Discuss
  • Electric Eels
    Electric eels are the sluggish inhabitants of slow freshwater basins in South America. Cylindrical, scaleless, and gray-brown, they can grow to nine feet (2.75 m) long and weigh up to 49 pounds (22 kg). The electric eel, however, is not a true eel, but is rather a knifefish that can produce a shock—powerful enough to stun a human—while hunting or in self-defense. The shock is produced by the electric organs in its body that generate charge in a manner similar to what common household item?
  • Rush Hour
    Rush hour—a misnomer, as it often lasts longer than a single hour—is a period of the day when traffic congestion on roads and crowding on public transportation is at its peak. These periods usually correspond to the start and end of the typical workday, when most people are commuting. Thus, there tends to be both a morning and an evening rush hour. Some areas even have a lunchtime rush hour. What system have some cities, such as São Paulo, Brazil, instituted to help curb rush hour traffic?

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