Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Streptomycin Is First Isolated (1943)

Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

After coining the word "antibiotic" for bacteria-killing chemicals derived from micro-organisms, American microbiologist Selman A. Waksman, working with Albert Schatz, isolated streptomycin—the fourth antibiotic ever discovered. Waksman won the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery. Streptomycin acts by inhibiting protein synthesis and damaging cell membranes. Produced by soil bacteria, it was the first specific agent effective in the treatment of what disease? Discuss

Alaska Formally Transferred from Russia to US (1867)

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for $7,200,000. The purchase was accomplished solely through the determined efforts of US Secretary of State William H. Seward, and for many years afterward the land was derisively called "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox" because of its supposed uselessness. It was not until after the discovery of gold in the Juneau region in 1880 that Alaska was given a governor and a local administration. When did Alaska become a state?

The First British Open Is Held in Scotland (1860)

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

The Open Championship of the British Isles, or the Open, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious golf championship tournaments in the world. It began in 1860 at Scotland's Prestwick course and is now rotated among select courses in England and Scotland. The first tournament was won by Willie Park, who also recorded the tournament's highest single-hole stroke total—21. Though today the Open has a multimillion-dollar prize fund, there was no prize money initially. Instead, Park won what?

Word Trivia


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

cullion - A rude, mean-spirited person. More...

bronco - Spanish for "rough, rude." More...

erudite - Meaning "having or showing knowledge," it traces to Latin eruditus/erudire, "bring out of an untrained state," with the base being rudis, "untrained; rude." More...

hoyden - Can be applied to rude, ignorant people. More...

tree trunk

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

pirogue - A canoe made from a tree trunk. More...

tree ring - Any of the concentric rings of the cross-section of a tree trunk, representing a year's growth, or the layer of wood produced by a year's growth in a woody plant; also called annual ring. More...

block - Derives from Middle Dutch blok, "tree trunk." More...

snag - Literally first meant a stump on a tree trunk or a piece of timber underwater that obstructed navigation. More...


Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

diminish - A blend of diminue, "speak disparagingly," and minish, "reduce in amount, degree, influence, power." More...

formulate - Can mean "reduce to a formula." More...

moderate - Etymologically, it means "keep within due measure," and is derived from Latin moderari or moderare, "control, reduce." More...

minimize - Means to reduce to an absolute minimum—not to play down or soften. More...

Today's Birthdays


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Salimuzzaman Siddiqui (1897)

Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Siddiqui was a leading Pakistani scientist credited with the isolation of unique chemical compounds from various South Asian plants, particularly the neem tree. The extracts of this tree, a broad-leaved evergreen native to India and Myanmar, have been used for centuries in Asia as pesticides, medicines, and health tonics. In the 21st century, knowledge of the neem tree spread to the West, where it has been hailed as a "wonder plant," largely due to the work of Siddiqui, who discovered what else? Discuss

Thomas Love Peacock (1785)

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Peacock was an English writer whose comic and satirical novels—which contain some of his best poems—parody the intellectual pretenses of his age. His best-known work, Nightmare Abbey, satirizes the English romantic movement and contains characters based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and his close friend Percy Bysshe Shelley. After Shelley's death, Peacock became his literary executor. Peacock died at the age of 80 from injuries sustained while trying to save what from a fire?

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel (1938)

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Knievel was an American daredevil and icon of the 1970s. He began doing motorcycle stunts as a teenager, then embarked on an incredibly varied career that included professional hockey, a stint in the army, work in copper mines, and eventually crime—safecracking and holdups. In 1965 he "went straight" and took up performing dangerous and thrilling stunts, which did not always go smoothly and eventually earned him the record for most broken bones in a lifetime. What canyon did Knievel try to jump?

Article of the Day


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Chulalongkorn was the king of Siam—now Thailand—from 1868 to 1910. Educated in part by a British governess, Anna Leonowens, he greatly advanced the Westernization that was begun by his father, King Mongkut. He departed from tradition by traveling abroad—to Singapore, Java, and India in 1871 and to Europe in 1897. He abolished slavery and introduced numerous reforms, which, along with his foreign policy, kept Siam from being colonized for decades. How many children did Chulalongkorn have? Discuss

The Sterile Insect Technique

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

The sterile insect technique is a method of biological control in which millions of sterile insects are released into the wild to reduce the population of future generations through mating that does not produce offspring. It is often used to control the populations of insects that spread disease to humans or livestock. Repeated release of sterile insects can eventually eliminate a population. The technique has been successfully used to eradicate what insect in areas of North America?

Lev Shestov

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Shestov was a Ukrainian-born existentialist philosopher. Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard, Shestov sought knowledge through ungrounded subjective thought instead of objective reason. He combined his existentialism with a religious outlook that emphasized a belief in the value of the human struggle. In 1921, he fled the aftermath of the October Revolution and lived in Paris until his death in 1938. What other philosophers did Shestov influence during his lifetime?

Quotations of the Day


Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Jane Austen

Sat, 19 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of. Discuss

George Eliot

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

Ignorance is not so damnable as humbug; but when it prescribes pills it may happen to do more harm.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT

It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead if we had nothing left to dream about.

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