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Quote of the Day

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
    She might hate me, and revile me, and heap indignity after indignity upon me, as she already had, until I should have hated her; but the pitiful fact remained that I loved her. Discuss
  • Charles Dickens
    Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism.
  • Jonathan Swift
    Poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.

Word of the Day

  • arcadian
    Definition: (adjective) <i>(Used with regard to idealized country life)</i> Idyllically rustic. Synonyms: bucolic, pastoral. Usage: Often she found herself dreaming of the arcadian days of her people, when they had not lived in cities nor been vexed with labor unions and employers' associations. Discuss
  • friable
    Definition: (adjective) Easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder. Synonyms: crumbly. Usage: The men disturbed the loose, friable earth of the slope ... disclosing human bones already nearly uncovered by the action of water and frost.
  • balderdash
    Definition: (noun) Trivial nonsense. Synonyms: fiddle-faddle, piffle. Usage: Our earnings reports prove that the rumors of our company's imminent collapse are balderdash.

Today’s Birthday

  • Mack Sennett (1880)
    Sennett was an American movie director, considered the father of slapstick comedy in film. After directing comedies under the tutelage of D.W. Griffith, he left to form his own Keystone Company and produced the first American feature-length comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance, in 1914. He made more than 1,000 comedy shorts, often featuring the wild antics of the Keystone Kops, and received a special Academy Award in 1937. As an actor, Sennett played what iconic character in several films? Discuss
  • Eric Henry Liddell (1902)
    Liddell was a Scottish athlete and missionary. Because of his Christian convictions, Liddell refused to run track events on Sundays, a decision that forced him to withdraw from his best event, the 100-meter sprint, during the 1924 Paris Olympics. Instead, he ran the 400 meters, winning the gold medal and breaking the existing world record. His story is depicted in the Academy Award-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Why is he listed in some literature as China's first Olympic champion?
  • Mihai Eminescu (1850)
    Eminescu is considered Romania's greatest poet. His first poems were published when he was just a teen, and a few years later he joined the literary circle Junimea and began contributing to its journal, Convorbiri literare. His lyrical, passionate, and revolutionary poems had a profound influence on Romanian letters. Eminescu suffered from periodic attacks of insanity and died shortly after one such attack. He is honored in a monument in the capital city of what Islamic country?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • The Curse of the Ninth
    The Curse of the Ninth is the superstition that a composer will die after writing a ninth symphony. Belief in the curse arose after Beethoven, Dvorák, and Schubert—among others—all died after composing their ninth symphonies. Mahler, perhaps the first prominent composer to fear the curse, attempted to elude it by naming his ninth symphony "The Song of the Earth," but he died after writing "Symphony No. 9"—which was technically his 10th. Who are the other supposed victims of the curse? Discuss
  • Pontus
    Pontus was an ancient region in northeast Asia Minor on the coast of the Black Sea. It became an independent kingdom with its capital at Amasia in the 4th century BCE. At the height of its influence under King Mithradates VI, it controlled all of Asia Minor. It continued expanding its borders until 66 BCE, when Mithradates was defeated by the Roman general Pompey the Great and Pontus was incorporated into the Roman Empire. What popular fruit of the rose family is thought to be native to Pontus?
  • Beelzebub
    In the Old Testament, Beelzebub is a fertility god worshipped by the Philistines of Ekron and other Semitic groups. In the New Testament, he is the leader of the devils, sometimes identified with Satan and sometimes with his chief assistant. One of the fallen angels of John Milton's 17th-century epic Paradise Lost, Beelzebub is described by the author as being next to Satan in power. His name, Beelzebub, ultimately derives from the Hebrew words bá'al zebub, meaning "lord of" what?

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