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- Castrati November 16, 2018Castrati were male singers with artificially created soprano or alto voices that were the result of castration in boyhood. Possessing powerful voices of great range and unique sound, castrati were introduced in the 16th century. They were especially popular in churches and operas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and even sang in the Sistine Chape […]
- The Knight November 15, 2018In medieval Europe, incessant private warfare brought about a permanent military class, and the institution of knighthood was well established by the 10th century. After 1100, military tenure was generally subject to the law of primogeniture, which resulted in a class of landless knights, who formed the great military orders of knighthood at the time of the […]
- Reduplicative Paramnesia November 14, 2018Reduplicative paramnesia is a condition in which one believes that a place has been duplicated and exists simultaneously in more than one location or that it has been relocated to another site. It is one of the delusional misidentification syndromes, which involve a belief that the identity of a person, object, or place has somehow changed. Highly rare, it i […]
- Castrati November 16, 2018
- Louis Riel, "Father of Manitoba," Executed for Treason (1885) November 16, 2018Of French and Métis parentage, Riel grew up in the Red River Settlement in what is now Manitoba, whose establishment in 1870 he precipitated by leading a revolt of Métis and indigenous peoples against the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Company territory to Canada. Riel was outlawed for his role in the rebellion, but that did not deter him from leading a s […]
- First of Two Istanbul Bombings (2003) November 15, 2018In a pair of dual truck bomb attacks carried out days apart in Istanbul, Turkey, terrorists took the lives of over 50 people and injured some 700. The first attack targeted two synagogues during Sabbath services. A truck bomb was detonated at each, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. Five days later, suicide bombers detonated truck bombs at Istanbul […]
- Day of the Colombian Woman (1967) November 14, 2018Not much is definitively known about Policarpa Salavarrieta's early years. Even her name is subject to conjecture. What is undisputed—and secured her a place in the annals of Colombian history and, in 1967, a day commemorating her heroism—is that she sacrificed her life trying to secure Colombia's independence; she was executed on November 14, 1817 […]
- Louis Riel, "Father of Manitoba," Executed for Treason (1885) November 16, 2018
- Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904) November 16, 2018A native Nigerian, Azikiwe was educated in the US and, upon returning to his home country, began publishing denunciatory articles as editor of the African Morning Post. He was charged with sedition in 1936 but was ultimately acquitted. Azikiwe then became a political leader and was named the first president of Nigeria when it became a republic in 1963, servi […]
- John I "the Posthumous" of France (1316) November 15, 2018For the five days he lived, John I, son of Louis X, was king of France. He thus had the shortest reign of any recognized French king. Because his uncle, Philip V, succeeded him, rumors swirled that Philip had caused John's death. Another story claimed that a dying child had been substituted for John, who was then raised in Siena. In the mid-1300s, a Sie […]
- Sir Frederick Grant Banting (1891) November 14, 2018Banting was a Canadian physician who, with Scottish physiologist John Macleod, won a 1923 Nobel Prize for the discovery of the hormone insulin. Banting and his assistant Charles Best experimented on diabetic dogs, demonstrating that insulin lowered their blood sugar. Insulin was proven effective on humans within months of the first experiments with dogs. In […]
- Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904) November 16, 2018
- Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse November 16, 2018The town of Armagh, Northern Ireland, is featured in a famous ballad called "The Bard of Armagh." That poem's title inspired the name of the Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse, an annual event that has taken place since 1993. Poets appear before audiences to recite their works and compete for best poem. To determine the official entries […]
- Shichi-Go-San November 15, 2018Shichi-Go-San is an ancient Japanese celebration that marks the special ages of seven, five, and three. It has long been traditional for families to take girls aged seven, boys of five, and all three-year-olds to the neighborhood Shinto shrine. There they are purified, and the priest prays for their healthy growth. Afterwards, there are often parties for the […]
- Plebeian Games November 14, 2018The Roman leader Flaminius is thought to have instituted the Plebeian Games in 220 BCE. They originally may have been held in the Circus Flaminius, which he built. Later, they may have moved to the Circus Maximus, a huge open arena between the Palatine and Aventine hills. The Games were dedicated to Jupiter, one of whose feast days was November 13, and inclu […]
- Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse November 16, 2018
- highfalutin November 16, 2018Definition: (adjective) Affectedly genteel. Synonyms: hoity-toity, la-di-da, grandiose. Usage: I'm glad you didn't load him down with some highfalutin, romantic name that he'd be ashamed of when he gets to be a grandfather. Discuss
- constrict November 15, 2018Definition: (verb) Become tight or as if tight. Synonyms: constringe, narrow. Usage: Severe migraines can be treated with a drug which constricts the blood vessels.
- incite November 14, 2018Definition: (verb) Provoke or stir up. Synonyms: instigate, stir up, set off. Usage: Those who incite riots should be held accountable for the damage they cause.
- highfalutin November 16, 2018
- Scientists keep finding new ways energy drinks are terrible for you November 16, 2018Energy drinks aren’t technically a “food.” That’s not to trash them—it’s just a fact, and an important one at that. The Food & Drug Administration regulates all products defined as food to ensure they’re safe for human consumption. Coffee drinks and soda, for ... Discuss
- Mario Segale, Inspiration For Nintendo's Hero Plumber, Has Died November 15, 2018Mario Segale, who inspired one of the world's most recognizable characters in Nintendo's Mario, has died at age 84. Segale was Nintendo's landlord outside of Seattle, Wash., when the company created Donkey Kong — the classic game that launched the ...
- Scientists may have found the key ingredient for a universal flu vaccine, and it comes from llama November 14, 2018Along with soulful eyes, endearingly long necks and and warm fuzzy coats, llamas have a far less appreciated feature: They make an array of immune system antibodies so tiny they can fit into crevices on the surface of an invading virus. That feat could ...
- Scientists keep finding new ways energy drinks are terrible for you November 16, 2018
- Charlotte Bronte November 16, 2018Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones. Discuss
- Aesop November 15, 2018Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.
- George Eliot November 14, 2018All honor and reverence to the divine beauty of form! Let us cultivate it to the utmost in men, women, and children—in our gardens and in our houses. But let us love that other beauty too, which lies in no secret of proportion, but in the secret of deep human sympathy.
- Charlotte Bronte November 16, 2018
- What chickens can teach us about hierarchies November 15, 2018What can chickens help us learn about the way we organise ourselves?
- Loneliness November 8, 2018Can you feel lonely in a crowded place? Neil and Sam discuss and teach some vocabulary.
- Objectification November 1, 2018Neil and Sam discuss if there's any advantage to the beach body trend.
- How creative should we be? October 25, 2018Rob and Neil discuss what it takes to be creative - and they also teach you vocabulary.
- What is 'scumbro' fashion? October 19, 2018There's a new look which some people are calling 'scumbro'. But what does is mean?
- Internet - good or bad? April 26, 2018Rob and Neil discuss some of the advantages and drawbacks of going online
- What chickens can teach us about hierarchies November 15, 2018