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Definition: (noun) A person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc.
Synonyms:deserter, ratter, turncoat, recreant, renegade
Usage:He was an early apostate, leaving the party last year. Discuss.
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Zen is the Japanese name for a branch of Buddhism originally practiced in China. Legend states that an Indian monk named Bodhidharma traveled to China and declared to Emperor Wudi that meditation, not good deeds, is the path to enlightenment. Bodhidharma himself is said to have sat in constant meditation for nine years. His teachings—which emphasize breaking through the boundaries of logical thought—developed fully in Japan by the 12th century, where they came to be called Zen. What is "zazen"? More... Discuss
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Handshakes Out, Fist Bumps and High-Fives In?

The handshake has been the preferred gesture of greeting, parting, congratulating, thanking, and sealing a deal in many cultures for some time now, but, in the interest of health, it may be time to loosen our grip on the handshake and take up "pounding it" or high-fiving instead. Shaking hands transfers 10 times more bacteria than fist bumping, while high-fiving falls somewhere between the two on the bacterial transfer spectrum. Still, none of these options is completely sterile, prompting one infection control expert to make the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that we reinstate bowing and curtsying, thereby eliminating hand contact entirely. More... Discuss
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Umberto I of Italy Assassinated (1900)

Son and successor of Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I was king of Italy from 1878 until his death in 1900. Though known as "Umberto the Good," he became increasingly authoritarian and disregarded the recommendations of parliamentary leaders. His support of General Bava Beccaris, who ordered his troops to fire cannons at demonstrators protesting high bread prices, greatly enraged many citizens, including his assassin. How many attempts on his life did Umberto escape before he was killed? More... Discuss
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Max Nordau (1849)

Nordau was a Hungarian Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic. He co-founded the World Zionist Organization with Theodor Herzl and was president or vice president of several Zionist congresses. As a social critic, he wrote a number of controversial books, including The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization, Degeneration, and Paradoxes. Nordau was a fully assimilated and acculturated European Jew when what controversy sparked his interest in Zionism? More... Discuss
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The very existence of government at all, infers inequality. The citizen who is preferred to office becomes the superior to those who are not, so long as he is the repository of power, and the child inherits the wealth of the parent as a controlling law of society.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) Discuss

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Coffin Fiesta of St. Martha

St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus who pleaded with Jesus to bring her brother back to life. Jesus did so, and folk beliefs often assign her the power of granting miraculous cures. In San Xosé de Ribarteme, in the province of Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain, ofrecidos—people who have made a vow to St. Martha—lie in open coffins during a procession on St. Martha's feast day. Usually, they or a member of their family has recently been cured by St. Martha's intervention. Most wear coarse net tunics called mortajas (shrouds) to indicate that they represent the "living dead." More... Discuss
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