Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the 1937 massacre named after a garden herb? Discuss

Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring Sparks a Riot (1913)

Fri, 29 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The Rite of Spring is a landmark ballet by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky that provoked a riot when it premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Expecting the demure conventions of classical ballet, the audience was caught off-guard by Stravinsky's dissonant score and Vaslav Nijinsky's violently untraditional choreography depicting fertility rites. Fistfights broke out between detractors and supporters, and chaos ensued. What Disney film popularized the ballet?

NASA Announces Discovery of Ice Deposits on Mars (2002)

Thu, 28 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Launched in April 2001, the Mars Odyssey spacecraft was sent by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to look for evidence of water on Mars. A little over a year later, NASA announced that water had been detected there in the form of ice, suggesting the possibility of microbial life on the Red Planet. The Phoenix lander confirmed the presence of water in 2008. The presence of what element led NASA researchers to conclude that there was indeed water on Mars?

Word Trivia


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

rugose - Means marked by rugae, or wrinkles, from Latin ruga, "wrinkle." More...

scrump, scrumple - Scrump is something withered or shriveled or dried up, and a scrumple is a wrinkle or crease. More...

crunkle - To crinkle, rumple, or wrinkle. More...

frounce - To wrinkle or fold. More...


Fri, 29 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

integrity - Data's consistency and freedom from corruption. More...

moral turpitude - Evil character or lack of integrity. More...

probity - Integrity, uprightness of character. More...

prove - From Latin probare, meaning "to test," it is literally to "make (something) honest." More...


Thu, 28 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

costa - A rib or riblike structure. More...

coast - First meant "side of the body," from Latin costa, "flank, rib, side." More...

cutlet - Not based on "cut," but rather on Latin costa, "rib," which later became French costelette, "little rib piece." More...

reef - From Old Norse rif, "rib." More...

Today's Birthdays


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Mel Blanc (1908)

Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

One of the most prolific voice actors of all time, Blanc began his career in radio. In 1933, he began to work for a daily radio program, for which he created several voices. In 1937, he joined the cartoon department of Warner Brothers. During his 50-year career, he supplied voices in more than 3,000 animated cartoons for hundreds of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Woody Woodpecker. Which Looney Tunes character is said to sound closest Blanc's natural voice? Discuss

Bob Hope (1903)

Fri, 29 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Famous for his "ski-jump" nose, superb timing, and irreverent attitude, Hope was an immensely popular American comedian. He debuted in vaudeville in the 1920s and later performed on radio, television, stage, and in more than 50 films. He hosted the Oscars a record-breaking 17 times over 38 years. A master of comic monologues and mildly bawdy one-liners, he was a tireless entertainer of US troops overseas. When asked on his deathbed at age 100 where he wanted to be buried, how did he respond?

Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807)

Thu, 28 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Agassiz was a Swiss-born naturalist and geologist. Noticing the presence of huge alpine boulders in areas of Switzerland where there are no glaciers, he hypothesized that glaciers had, at one time, been widespread in the area and had dragged the boulders there. This lent credence to his theory of a recent ice age. He was also a renowned teacher and did notable work with fossils. Agassiz was a lifelong opponent, on religious grounds, of what now-accepted scientific theory?

Article of the Day


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Living Statues

Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Living statues are mimes who stand perfectly still for hours on end, pretending to be statues. They are sometimes painted with a metallic sheen or another color so that they appear to have been cast from metal or carved from stone. Often, they are so still that bystanders believe they are actual statues and—as has been shown on many a hidden-camera television show—create quite a commotion among startled onlookers if they disrupt the illusion by moving. When did the first living statues perform? Discuss

Eugène François Vidocq

Fri, 29 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Vidocq was a career criminal who became a spy for the Paris police while in prison in 1809. After 21 months of spying, he was released and organized a plainclothes unit. In 1817 alone, he played a role in 811 arrests. In 1832, accusations that he was instigating crimes for the purpose of uncovering them forced his resignation. He recounted his exploits in his memoirs, inspiring several fictional accounts. Considered the father of modern criminology, Vidocq pioneered what investigative methods?

The Garden of Eden

Thu, 28 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

In the Bible, the Garden of Eden is the first home to humankind, a harmonious, idyllic paradise. There, God created Adam and Eve, the first humans. Having eaten fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil—against God's orders—they were banished from the garden. While the location of the garden itself is not specified or known, its location is described in reference to places that are. What geographic locations have biblical scholars proposed for the Garden of Eden?

Quotations of the Day


Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing. Discuss


Fri, 29 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

A soul that is kind and intends justice discovers more than any sophist.

Oscar Wilde

Thu, 28 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.

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