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Quote of the Day

  • Washington Irving
    How easy it is for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him; and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles! Discuss
  • Mark Twain
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
  • Henry Fielding
    Scarcely one person in a thousand is capable of tasting the happiness of others.

Word of the Day

  • infest
    Definition: (verb) To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious. Synonyms: overrun. Usage: During the year that followed, Clayton was several times attacked by the great apes which now seemed to continually infest the vicinity of the cabin. Discuss
  • denude
    Definition: (verb) To divest of covering; make bare. Synonyms: strip. Usage: Rake in hand, Flora set out to denude her lawn of fallen leaves.
  • lowlife
    Definition: (noun) A person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible. Synonyms: dirty dog, git, puke, rotter, scum bag, skunk, so-and-so, stinker, bum, crumb, rat. Usage: Only a lowlife would steal money from his own child.

Today’s Birthday

  • John Hersey (1914)
    Born in China to missionary parents, Hersey worked as a journalist in East Asia, Italy, and the Soviet Union from 1937 to 1946, including as a war correspondent during WWII. In 1944, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Bell for Adano, which depicts the Allied occupation of a Sicilian town. He later combined fact and fiction in his most famous work, Hiroshima, about the experiences of atomic-blast survivors. How did Hersey inspire Dr. Seuss to write The Cat in the Hat? Discuss
  • George Gaylord Simpson (1902)
    Simpson, an American paleontologist, helped develop the modern biological theory of evolution, drawing on paleontology, genetics, ecology, and natural selection. His contributions to evolutionary theory include a detailed classification of mammals, which is still the standard, and the discovery of the migratory and evolutionary patterns of the prehistoric fauna of the Americas, from which he deduced that species reached adaptive peaks and suffered accidental dispersal. What word did he coin?
  • Edward, the Black Prince (1330)
    The eldest son of King Edward III, Edward was the prince of Wales. Joining his father as a commander in the campaigns of the Hundred Years War, he established a reputation for valor. However, his rule as the prince of Aquitaine from 1362 to 1372 was a failure, and he returned sick and broken to England and formally surrendered his principality to his father. Though the heir apparent, he never became king, dying one year before his father. Edward was the first in England to be granted what title?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Fossilized Footprints
    Known as ichnites or ichnolites, fossilized footprints or tracks of once-living organisms are studied by the branch of paleontology known as ichnology or ichnolithology. As well as providing information about foot structure and stride, ichnites provide important clues about the behavior of the animals that made them. For example, multiple ichnites of a single species found close together may suggest herd or pack behavior. What prehistoric creature is known exclusively by its footprints? Discuss
  • Polychaetes
    About 5,400 species of often brightly colored marine worms are included in the annelid class Polychaeta. Worms of this class have a head with short sensory projections and tentacles and a segmented body covered with many setae, or bristles. They range in length from less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) to approximately 10 ft (3 m) long. Found worldwide, polychaetes perform the important function of turning over sediment on the ocean floor. What is the deepest point at which polychaetes have been observed?
  • Earwax
    Known by the medical term cerumen, earwax is the waxy secretion of the ceruminous glands and hair follicles of the external auditory canal. Earwax protects the ears by trapping dust, microorganisms, and foreign particles and preventing them from entering and damaging the ear. However, excess or impacted cerumen can impair hearing, and a number of methods exist to alleviate earwax impaction. One method considered dangerous and ineffective by doctors is ear candling, which is what?

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