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Wednesday, March 04, 2015 | View Archive | Save / Send this Page ?
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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) One who has the power and position to rule over others.
Usage:She was a potentate in her home, all her relatives being too cowed to protest her decisions. Discuss.

Article of the Day


Cuckoo Clocks

A cuckoo clock is a wall or shelf clock that announces intervals of time with a sound imitative of a cuckoo's call and often with the simultaneous emergence of a mechanical bird from a small door. An Augsburg nobleman by the name of Philipp Hainhofer penned the first known description of a cuckoo clock in 1629. What region in southwest Germany boasts a strong clockmaking tradition that started in the late 17th century? More... Discuss

This Day in History


Frederick Barbarossa Elected King of the Germans (1152)

Frederick Barbarossa was elected King of Germany in 1152 and crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1155. Shortly thereafter, an apparent misunderstanding with Pope Adrian IV led Frederick to mount military operations against Italy and install an antipope in opposition to Adrian's successor. The schism continued for some time, but Frederick and the Catholic pontiff ultimately reconciled. According to scholars, what factors may have contributed to Frederick's drowning death in the shallow Saleph River? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Henry the Navigator (1394)

Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese prince, figured strongly in Portugal's early development as a colonial empire. Though not a navigator himself, Henry was a great patron of exploration and is credited with establishing a school for navigators and encouraging the study of navigational instruments and cartography. Under his patronage, Portuguese sailors explored and colonized Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Azores. Where did Henry get the money to fund these expeditions? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878) Discuss

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n. The branch of pediatrics that deals with the diseases and care of newborn infants
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Today's Holiday


Omizutori Matsuri (2015)

Omizutori Matsuri is marked by religious rites that have been observed for 12 centuries at the Buddhist Todaiji Temple in the city of Nara, Japan. During this period of meditative rituals in the first two weeks of March, the drone of recited sutras and the sound of blowing conchs echo from the temple. On March 12, young monks on the temple gallery brandish burning pine-branches, shaking off burning pieces. Spectators below try to catch the sparks, believing they have magic power against evil. On March 13, the ceremony of drawing water is observed to the accompaniment of ancient music. More... Discuss