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Word of the Day

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skinflint

Definition: (noun) A selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend.
Synonyms:scrooge, churl, niggard
Usage:He had earned for himself the reputation of an awful skinflint, of a miser in the matter of living. Discuss.

Article of the Day

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The Philosopher's Stone

Long sought as the "holy grail" of Western alchemy, the philosopher's stone is a legendary substance that is supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold and is believed by some to have the power to restore youth. At one time, alchemists believed a key ingredient of the stone was a mythical element called "carmot." According to legend, to whom did 13th-century scientist Albertus Magnus give the philosopher's stone after discovering it shortly before his death? More... Discuss

This Day in History

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Hiram Bingham III Locates Machu Picchu (1911)

Bingham was an American archaeologist who explored the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, which he incorrectly identified as the "lost city" of Vilcabamba, bringing them to the attention of the outside world for the first time. Ironically, he was also the first modern explorer to reach Espiritu Pampa, found 60 mi (110 km) east of Machu Picchu, a site now widely recognized as the actual remains of Vilcabamba. A Yale University lecturer, Bingham may have been the inspiration for what fictional character? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday

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Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900)

Zelda Sayre was an aspiring writer when she married F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920. A glamorous and witty couple, they lived an extravagant life in New York City that F. Scott unsuccessfully attempted to support with his writing. They eventually moved to Europe, where they became part of a celebrated circle of American expatriates known as the Lost Generation. After 1930, Zelda was intermittently confined to sanatoriums for schizophrenia but still managed to publish short stories and what novel? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

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The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Discuss

Mismatch

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laid-back
belligerent
amicable
indirect
chivalrous
unusual
lineal
dishonourable
hackneyed
nervous

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n. A woman's head scarf, folded triangularly and worn tied under the chin
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overwrought
chalky
calcareous
fine-grained
prefatory
fruitless
powdery
introductory
bootless
distraught

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Today's Holiday

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Manitoba Sunflower Festival

The Mennonites were members of an evangelical Protestant sect named for Menno Simons, a Dutch priest. A number of Russian Mennonites settled in Manitoba, Canada, where their heritage is still celebrated. Because the Mennonites were the first to extract the oil from sunflower plants, the city of Altona honors its Mennonite heritage with an annual Sunflower Festival, offering a number of Mennonite foods such as veriniki, borscht, and rollkuchen. Activities include the Great Ping Pong Ball Drop, motorcross races, pancake breakfasts, and a huge farmers' market. More... Discuss

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Idiom of the Day

grand total

The final amount after adding several different numbers or sums. More... Discuss