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Quote of the Day

  • Jane Austen
    She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older—the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning. Discuss
  • Jonathan Swift
    It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever has been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice, and the general reason of mankind.
  • Jane Austen
    There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.

Word of the Day

  • gormandize
    Definition: (verb) Overeat or eat immodestly; make a pig of oneself. Synonyms: binge, glut, gorge, ingurgitate, overeat, overindulge, pig out, scarf out, satiate, stuff. Usage: After June all the little Court Society of Pumpernickel used to ... make for a hundred watering-places, where they drank at the wells, … rushed with hundreds of their kind to gormandize at the tables d'hote, and idled away the summer. Discuss
  • rapturous
    Definition: (adjective) Experiencing or manifesting ecstatic joy or delight. Synonyms: rapt, rhapsodic. Usage: The audience greeted the speaker with rapturous applause.
  • lectern
    Definition: (noun) Desk or stand with a slanted top used to hold a text at the proper height for a lecturer. Synonyms: reading desk. Usage: On the small rock platform stood an old bronze lectern or reading-stand, groaning under a great German Bible.

Today’s Birthday

  • Doris Lessing (1919)
    Lessing is a British writer and winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. Born in Iran, she moved with her family to a farm in what was Southern Rhodesia in 1924 and lived there until 1949, when she settled in England and began her writing career. Her work often addresses social and political themes, particularly the place of women in society. The Golden Notebook, her most widely read novel, is considered a feminist classic, although Lessing herself has said what about feminists? Discuss
  • Sir Georg Solti (1912)
    Solti was a Hungarian-born British conductor. Not long after making his piano debut at age 12, he decided he wanted to conduct. He returned to piano during WWII and won the 1942 Geneva International Competition. After the war, he began conducting again and led orchestras all over Europe and the US. As director of the Royal Opera House, he made the first full recording of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle, one of history's most celebrated recordings. How did he earn the nickname "the screaming skull"?
  • Arthur "Art" Buchwald (1925)
    Buchwald was an American humorist who started as a columnist covering the lighter side of Parisian life. After moving to Washington, DC, in 1961, he began poking fun at issues in the news and soon became one of the sharpest satirists of American politics and modern life. His syndicated column of wry humor eventually appeared in more than 500 papers worldwide, and he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1982. What was unusual about his video obituary featured by The New York Times?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Prepulse Inhibition
    Prepulse inhibition is a neurological phenomenon in which a weaker pre-stimulus—a prepulse—inhibits the reaction of an organism to a subsequent startling stimulus. The reduction of the startle reflex reflects the ability of the nervous system to adapt to a strong sensory stimulus when a preceding weaker signal provides it advance warning. The phenomenon has been detected in numerous species, including humans. Disruption of prepulse inhibition has been reported in patients with what diseases? Discuss
  • The Singapore Flyer
    At 541 feet (165 m)—or 42 stories—high, the Singapore Flyer is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it was opened to the public in 2008. The wheel contains 28 enclosed capsules, each of which is capable of holding 28 passengers. A complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes. The wheel originally rotated in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from the nearby Marina Centre, but its direction was later changed. Why?
  • Untitled
    American painter John Singer Sargent, at one time the world's most famous and highly paid portrait painter, is best known for his portraits of American and English social celebrities. In 1884, before he had achieved acclaim, a scandal erupted when he exhibited Portrait of Madame X in Paris. In it, socialite Madame Gautreau is shown wearing a low-cut gown that critics deemed erotic. Paris was offended, Gautreau refused the painting, and Sargent moved to London. Where is the painting today?

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