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Quote of the Day

  • Francis Bacon
    This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal, and do well. Discuss
  • Virginia Woolf
    The first duty of a lecturer—to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks, and keep on the mantelpiece forever.
  • Thomas Hardy
    My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.

Word of the Day

  • beseech
    Definition: (verb) Ask for or request earnestly. Synonyms: adjure, entreat, conjure, bid, press. Usage: Daddy, I beseech you to stop smoking before it is too late. Discuss
  • chivvy
    Definition: (verb) Annoy continually or chronically. Synonyms: beset, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke. Usage: The senator is very demanding and is reputed to endlessly chivvy her staff to work harder.
  • ebullition
    Definition: (noun) An unrestrained expression of emotion. Synonyms: effusion, outburst, blowup, gush. Usage: The count bit his lips till the blood almost started, to prevent the ebullition of anger which his proud and irritable temper scarcely allowed him to restrain.

Today’s Birthday

  • Michael Faraday (1791)
    Despite having little formal education, Faraday is responsible for some of the most significant scientific developments in history. His contributions include discovering electromagnetic induction, inventing the first electric motor and dynamo, developing the devices now known as Faraday cages, demonstrating the relation between electricity and chemical bonding, and discovering the effect of magnetism on light. In the 1850s, he refused—on ethical grounds—to advise the British government on what? Discuss
  • Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853)
    A Dutch physicist and professor at the University of Leiden, Onnes founded in 1884 a cryogenic laboratory that would become a renowned research center for low-temperature physics. He was the first to produce liquid helium, and in the process produced a temperature within a degree of absolute zero. He also discovered superconductivity—the abnormally high electrical conductivity of certain materials at very low temperatures. When he first observed superconductivity, what did he think it was?
  • Maxwell Perkins (1884)
    After joining the publishing firm of Charles Scribner's Sons, Perkins became an enormously well-regarded editor with a genius for recognizing and fostering new talent. Though best known for the intensive editorial work that shaped Thomas Wolfe's sprawling manuscripts into publishable form, he also edited and published early works by then-unknown writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Erskine Caldwell. How many words did Perkins persuade Wolfe to cut from his first novel?

Article of the Day   (article source)

  • Grosmont Castle
    Grosmont Castle is a ruined castle in Wales very near the English border. It was one of three castles in the area and dates to the 11th or 12th century. It was probably used as an administrative center before being converted to a fortress. In the 13th century, King Henry III's son Edmund made the castle his residence and rebuilt part of it. He constructed a giant false doorway through which one could access the castle’s lower floors but not his living quarters. How, then, did he get in and out? Discuss
  • Flan
    Flan is a dessert made by adding custard to a caramel-lined mold. After it is baked, then chilled, it is tipped out of the mold so the caramel is on top. The dish is popular around the world, from Europe to the Philippines to Latin America, and one form is a staple of Japanese convenience stores. Though flan is typically vanilla-flavored, it can be made with a number of other flavors, such as almond or chocolate. A variation of flan popular in Puerto Rico contains an added layer of what?
  • Mauthausen-Gusen
    A complex of Nazi concentration camps in northern Austria, Mauthausen-Gusen was the scene of terrible atrocities during World War II. Originally affiliated with the Dachau camp, it acquired dozens of its own satellite camps by the end of the war. Though the death toll at Mauthausen-Gusen is unknown, it is estimated that more than 100,000 died there. Many prisoners were used for slave labor in local industries. One quarry was home to the "Stairs of Death," where prisoners were forced to do what?

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