Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Magellan Space Probe Reaches Venus (1990)

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The first planetary spacecraft to be launched from a space shuttle, Magellan took 15 months to reach its destination, arriving in orbit around the second planet from the Sun in August 1990. It was then put to work generating high-resolution maps of Venus's surface and measuring the planet's gravity. Four years later, with its mission complete, Magellan plunged into Venus's tremendously dense atmosphere and disintegrated. What do Magellan's images reveal about the planet? Discuss

Singapore Is Expelled from Malaysia (1965)

Sun, 9 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

After more than a century of British rule, Singapore gained independence in 1959. Four years later, it joined with nearby territories to form Malaysia. However, racial and economic tensions arose, and two years later, the Malaysian parliament unanimously voted to expel Singapore. Despite being left unexpectedly autonomous with few defenses or natural resources, Singapore rapidly developed into an economic powerhouse. Still, it remains dependent on Malaysia for what one critical thing?

2008 Summer Olympics Begin in Beijing, China (2008)

Sat, 8 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

At 8:08 PM on 8-8-08, the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics began. Held in the new Beijing National Stadium—nicknamed "the Bird's Nest"—it marked China's first time hosting the Olympics. The nearly four-hour event, which showcased Chinese culture, was a popular and logistical success, and the games became one of the most-watched TV events in history. However, in the international torch relay before the opening ceremony, protests in what city caused the Olympic torch to be extinguished?

Word Trivia


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

ham, hamstring - Originally, the part of the leg behind the knee was called the ham, and then the tendon near the ham was the hamstring; by extension, the ham became the thigh and buttock together. More...

haunch - The buttock and thigh together. More...

hockshin, gambrel - The underside of the thigh is the hockshin or gambrel. More...

thigh - Etymologically, the "plump" part of the leg, from an Indo-European base meaning "swell" or "fat." More...


Sun, 9 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

autonomy - From Greek autos, "self," and nomos, "law," i.e. a person or unit that makes its own laws. More...

blue sky laws - Laws protecting the public from securities fraud. More...

code, codex - Code, from Latin codex, meaning "block of wood split into tablets, document written on wood tablets," was first a set of laws. More...

constitute, constitution - Constitute can mean "make laws" and a constitution is a "how-to" document for a government or organization. More...


Sat, 8 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

adumbrate - Means "to give a sketchy outline or disclose only in part; hint," and its root is Latin umbra, "shadow." More...

allude, refer - To allude is to "mention indirectly, hint at," and to refer is to "mention directly." More...

infer, imply - Infer means "to deduce, reason," and imply means "to hint at, suggest." More...

inkle, inkling - To inkle is to communicate in an undertone or whisper, to give a hint of something, which gives us inkling. More...

Today's Birthdays


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Henri Nestlé (1814)

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Born in Germany, Nestlé was the 11th of 14 children—only half of whom survived to adulthood. After apprenticing to a pharmacist in the 1830s, he began to work on an infant food that could serve as a substitute for breast milk for struggling babies. Combining milk, flour, and sugar, he created the first commercial infant formula and founded what is today the largest processed foods company in the world. The Nestlé company logo is derived from the family coat of arms, which includes what image? Discuss

Izaak Walton (1593)

Sun, 9 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

A friend and fishing companion of John Donne, Walton wrote one of the most famous and frequently reprinted books in the English language, The Compleat Angler; or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation. The book not only describes the strategies and techniques of fishing, it also draws a picture of peace and simple virtue that was Walton's protest against the civil wars taking place at the time. Though the book was first published in 1653, Walton continued to add to it—for how long?

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac (1902)

Sat, 8 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Dirac was an influential English mathematician and theoretical physicist. In 1928, he published a version of quantum mechanics taking into account the theory of relativity. His theory predicted an antiparticle to the electron, and, in 1932, the positron was discovered. That year, Dirac was appointed to the same University of Cambridge chair once held by Isaac Newton. Likely autistic, Dirac was known for his precise nature and literal view of the world. How did he once introduce his wife?

Article of the Day


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The Peshitta

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Written in the Syriac language—a form of Aramaic—the Peshitta is the Bible used by Syriac Christians. Its Old Testament is said to be a direct translation from the ancient Hebrew, unlike other modern Bibles, which have been translated from Greek or Latin. Because the New Testament of the Peshitta has remained in Aramaic for so long, Syriac Christians believe it may be more accurate than versions that have undergone more translations and revisions. What does "Peshitta" mean? Discuss

Referred Pain

Sun, 9 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Referred pain is a phenomenon in which pain is felt in an area of the body other than the part where it originated. One well-known example is the jaw, neck, or arm pain often felt during heart attacks, another is the shoulder pain associated with gallstones. A less serious example is "brain freeze," a sudden headache sometimes triggered by eating cold foods. Scientists do not fully understand what causes referred pain, but it is thought to be related to what phenomenon experienced by amputees?

Academic Fencing

Sat, 8 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Academic fencing is a traditional form of sword-fighting practiced primarily by members of college fraternities in German-speaking countries. During a bout, or mensur, participants exchange blows without moving their feet. Flinching or dodging is not allowed, as the aim is less to avoid injury than to endure it stoically. While protective clothing makes serious injury rare in modern bouts, facial wounds are common, and the scars are seen as a badge of honor. How does one win such a match?

Quotations of the Day


Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Washington Irving

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Great minds have purposes; others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them. Discuss

Jerome K. Jerome

Sun, 9 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

I can see the humorous side of things and enjoy the fun when it comes; but look where I will, there seems to me always more sadness than joy in life.

Gustave Flaubert

Sat, 8 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.

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