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Quote of the Day

  • Miguel de Cervantes
    From reading too much, and sleeping too little, his brain dried up on him and he lost his judgment. Discuss
  • Ambrose Bierce
    I is the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection.
  • Francis Bacon
    By indignities men come to dignities.

Word of the Day

  • gullible
    Definition: (adjective) Easily deceived or duped. Synonyms: fleeceable, green. Usage: Maddie was a gullible young girl, and we easily convinced her that our homely history teacher was actually a runaway princess in disguise. Discuss
  • laic
    Definition: (adjective) Of or relating to the laity. Synonyms: lay, secular. Usage: He was a laic leader, but many of his followers believed him to be a prophet.
  • lore
    Definition: (noun) Accumulated facts, traditions, or beliefs about a particular subject. Synonyms: traditional knowledge. Usage: He had taught the children something of the forest lore that he had himself learned from Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, and knew that in their dire hour they were not likely to forget it.

Today’s Birthday

  • Antonio Salieri (1750)
    Italian composer and conductor Antonio Salieri moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1766 with his music teacher, imperial court composer Florian Gassmann. When Gassmann died, Salieri took his position and went on to become Vienna's most popular opera composer for the remainder of the 18th century. Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt were among his most famous students. Though Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were rivals, the story that he poisoned Mozart is likely untrue. How did their rivalry begin? Discuss
  • Mae West (1893)
    West was an American stage and movie comedienne who started her career in burlesque and vaudeville. In 1926, she began to write, produce, and star in her own Broadway plays, which were often replete with sexual innuendo. A master of the double entendre, she treated sex with broad humor in popular films such as I'm No Angel. As a result, she constantly battled the censorship of the motion picture Production Code. What was dubbed a "Mae West" during World War II?
  • Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888)
    Lawrence was a British adventurer, soldier, and scholar popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia. He learned Arabic while on an archaeological expedition in Mesopotamia, then served in intelligence for the British army in Egypt during WWI. After conceiving a plan to support an Arab rebellion against the Ottoman Empire—a German ally—he joined the Arab forces and became a leader in the revolt, but he failed to achieve the formation of an independent Arab state. What did he later do under false names?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • William James Sidis: Child Prodigy
    Sidis was an American child prodigy who could read The New York Times by the time he was 18 months old. By age eight, he had taught himself eight languages and had invented one of his own. It is said that in his adult years he could speak more than 40 languages and learn a new one in a single day. In 1909, he became the youngest person ever to enroll at Harvard College and began lecturing on higher mathematics the following year. What became of Sidis after he graduated in 1914, at age 16? Discuss
  • The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake
    The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake is a 200-year-old competition held annually in the Cotswolds region of England. Drawing both local and international participants, the race begins when a round of Double Gloucester cheese is set loose at the top of a steep hill. Competitors dash after it, risking sprained ankles, broken bones, and concussions in the chase. Even spectators risk injury, as the cheese reaches speeds of 70 mph (113 km/h). What does the first person over the finish line win?
  • Supermassive Black Holes
    A supermassive black hole is a black hole containing the mass of between a hundred thousand and tens of billions of Suns. Scientists believe that most, if not all, galaxies, including the Milky Way, contain supermassive black holes at their galactic centers. They also cite a link between the mass of the supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy and the morphology, or structure, of the galaxy itself. Where is the Milky Way's supermassive black hole thought to be located?

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