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Quote of the Day

  • John Milton
    What hath night to do with sleep? Discuss
  • Aesop
    Better no rule than cruel rule.
  • Aesop
    Self-help is the best help.

Word of the Day

  • ossicle
    Definition: (noun) A small bone, especially one of the three bones of the middle ear. Synonyms: bonelet. Usage: Because of their distinctive shapes, the ossicles in the ear are called the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. Discuss
  • thurible
    Definition: (noun) A censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies. Synonyms: censer. Usage: As the priest swung the thurible, incense poured out the holes in its lid.
  • nectary
    Definition: (noun) A glandlike organ, located outside or within a flower, that secretes nectar. Synonyms: honey gland. Usage: Deep in the Amazon, we came across a species of flower sporting a nectary larger than any we had ever seen.

Today’s Birthday

  • Mohandas Gandhi (1869)
    Gandhi is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century for his role in securing India's independence from British rule through non-violent civil disobedience, a method that has since inspired notable civil rights leaders around the globe. The victory was bittersweet for Gandhi, who had championed Hindu-Muslim unity, as independence came with a plan to carve out a separate Muslim state—Pakistan. In 1948, he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic. Why is Gandhi often called Mahatma? Discuss
  • Jimmy Carter (1924)
    Carter served as US President from 1977 to 1981. His foreign policy had some success—he mediated the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and signed a treaty with Panama regarding control of the Panama Canal—but his domestic policy was less effective, and oil-related inflation and unemployment hurt his bid for re-election. He has since been active in human-rights causes and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. In 2007, Carter earned a Grammy Award for best album in what category?
  • Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207)
    Rumi was a great Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose influence has spread to Persian-speakers in Afghanistan, central Asia, Turkey, and beyond. His Masnavi-ye Manavi, a six-volume work of spiritual teaching and Sufi lore related in the form of stories and lyric poetry, widely influenced Muslim mystical thought and literature. Rumi's followers founded the Mevlevi order, whose members use dancing and music as part of their spiritual method and are popularly known by what name?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Windsor Castle
    Located in the county of Berkshire, west of London, Windsor Castle has been a principal official residence of British monarchs since the 11th century. The Queen herself is quite fond of Windsor and frequently weekends there. Windsor has the distinction of being the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The modern castle, which contains about 1,000 rooms and occupies 13 acres (5 hectares), consists of three "wards"—the upper, middle, and lower. What damaged more than 100 rooms in 1992? Discuss
  • Opus Dei
    Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic lay order founded in 1928 in Spain, where it gained support from the government of Francisco Franco after the Spanish Civil War. Roughly one-third of its more than 85,000 members are celibate and live communally. Opus Dei seeks to promote traditional Catholic values and teachings and opposes liberalism and immorality. It also emphasizes preaching to government officials, intellectuals, and business executives. Why has Opus Dei been controversial among some Catholics?
  • Code Talkers
    "Code talkers" were Native American soldiers in the US military who transmitted secret messages using codes based on their native languages. Though code talking was used as early as World War I, it is chiefly associated with Navajo language speakers in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The Navajo code baffled the Japanese, and, according to military officers, was key to the American victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima. What was it about this "code" that made it so difficult to crack?

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