Category Archives: Uncategorized

Horoscope♉: 04/12/2020


You could be overwhelmed with information today, Taurus, as you receive more phone calls and email messages than you can possibly answer. Be clear about your priorities and stick with them. Otherwise, you’re likely to spend the day being batted around the court like a tennis ball. Take a lot of deep breaths throughout the day and make an effort to keep your temper in check.:

Today’s Holiday: Annual Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble

Today’s Holiday:
Annual Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble

This 700-year-old event is the highpoint of the local calendar in the small village of Hallaton in Leicestershire, England. Opposing teams from Hallaton and the neighboring town of Medbourne scramble to maneuver two out of three small wooden beer kegs across a goal line. The event begins when the local rector blesses the Hare Pie—originally made of hare but now of beef. After handing out slices to some of the villagers, he scatters the remainder on the rectory lawn, where people scramble for it. Then comes the contest for the beer-filled kegs. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Lanford Wilson (1937)

Today’s Birthday:
Lanford Wilson (1937)

One of the founders of the “off-off-Broadway” theater movement, Wilson began writing plays in 1962 and helped found the Circle Repertory Company in New York City in 1969. His plays frequently address themes of decay, solitude, and loss and are known for their realistic dialogue in which monologue, conversation, and direct audience address overlap. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly (1979) depicts a man and woman falling in love, but some critics believe it is really about what? More…:

This Day in History: Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

This Day in History:
Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

The first African American to achieve leading man status in Hollywood, Poitier began acting with the American Negro Theatre in New York City and made his film debut soon after. He won acclaim on Broadway for his role in 1959’s A Raisin in the Sun and, in 1964, became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. Many of his films address issues of race, yet some have criticized his choice of film roles for what reason? More…:

Quote of the Day: Jane Austen

Quote of the Day:
Jane Austen

What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness? More…:

Article of the Day: Jean Duvet

Article of the Day:
Jean Duvet

Born in 1485, Duvet was a French engraver and goldsmith. His most famous works are two dozen engravings in a series depicting scenes from the biblical Apocalypse. Published in 1561, the engravings do not depict space or proportion realistically. Rather, they have a distinctive style that is crowded, urgent, and intense, as every available space is filled with detail. Duvet, whose printmaking style is often compared to that of William Blake, began his career copying prints by what artists? More…:

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) head in the sand

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) head in the sand

To refuse to acknowledge or deal with problems, danger, or difficulty, especially in the hopes that they will resolve themselves. The phrase is a reference to ostriches, which were believed (incorrectly) to hide their heads in the ground at the sight of approaching danger. Watch the video…

Word of the Day: wallop

Word of the Day:

Definition: (verb) (Informal) To beat soundly; strike hard.

Synonyms: whack, wham, whop

Usage: The chef was so enraged that I feared she might wallop me over the head with her frying pan.:

Horoscope♉: 04/11/2020


In future years, you might remember today as one of the best days of your life, Taurus. Romance should be going beautifully. You could exchange deeply felt words of love with your partner. The future looks bright, and you should be full of enthusiastic plans for pursuing what you really want to do. You should also be feeling especially strong, energetic, healthy, and ready to try anything. A journey could be coming up soon.:

Today’s Holiday: Vlöggelen

Today’s Holiday:

As practiced in the eastern Netherlands village of Ootmarsum, the Vlöggelen, or Winging Ceremony, is believed to be the remnant of an ancient spring fertility rite. It is a ritualistic dance through the cobbled streets led by eight unmarried men, linked to form a human chain that advances slowly, “like birds on the wing.” The dancers enter the front doors of shops, inns, and farmhouses to the melody of an old Easter hymn with so many verses that the dancers must read the words pinned to the back of the person in front of them. Later, the men fetch firewood for a huge bonfire that night. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock (1940)

Today’s Birthday:
Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock (1940)

Hancock is a jazz and funk pianist, composer, and bandleader who emerged as part of Miles Davis’s group in the mid-1960s. An early adopter of electronic instruments, he became involved with funk and disco in the 70s, while continuing to tour with jazz groups, such as that of Wynton Marsalis. He won an Academy Award for his original score of the 1986 film ‘Round Midnight and has won 14 Grammys, including “Album of the Year” for a work that paid tribute to what fellow musician? More…:

This Day in History: Liberian President William R. Tolbert Is Killed in Military Coup (1980)

This Day in History:
Liberian President William R. Tolbert Is Killed in Military Coup (1980)

Liberia was founded in the 1820s by former slaves from the US, and tensions between the Americo-Liberian minority and the indigenous majority have persisted since that time. On April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers led by Samuel Kanyon Doe stormed the executive mansion, killing Americo-Liberian President William R. Tolbert and 27 other government leaders. Doe, a member of the ethnic Krahn tribe, then declared himself president. How had a rice scandal seriously undermined Tolbert? More…:

Quote of the Day: Charles Dickens

Quote of the Day:
Charles Dickens

The world would do well to reflect, that injustice is in itself, to every generous and properly constituted mind, an injury, of all others the most insufferable, the most torturing, and the most hard to bear. More…:

Article of the Day: Pyotr Stolypin

Article of the Day:
Pyotr Stolypin

Stolypin was the prime minister of Russia from 1906 to 1911 under Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. Stolypin instituted agrarian reforms that improved the welfare of peasants, reasoning that as a landed class they would be more loyal to the tsar. At the same time, he was ruthless in suppressing the growing revolutionary movement and executed hundreds in 1906 and 1907. He was, in turn, assassinated by a revolutionary. What did Tsar Nicholas reportedly say to Stolypin on his deathbed? More…:

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) hand out

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) hand out

To be in request, demand, or expectation of benefits, such as welfare, especially when undeserved or unneeded. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: tomfoolery

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) Foolish or senseless behavior.

Synonyms: lunacy, craziness, folly, indulgence

Usage: Having had enough of our tomfoolery, the teacher sternly warned us to settle down and behave.


Horoscope♉: 04/10/2020


Are you considering moving to a new residence, redecorating, or making some home improvements, Taurus? If so, this is a good time to do it. These types of projects promise to go well, so don’t let doubt get in your way. Explore every possibility, consider all the pros and cons, and then if it looks like it’s going to work, go for it!:

Today’s Holiday: Caitra Parb

Today’s Holiday:
Caitra Parb

In the Hindu festival of Caitra Parb, held in Orissa, India, people fast, dance, and hunt. Heads of the families pay homage to their forefathers in the presence of the village priest, or Jani, and family members put on festive new costumes. Animal sacrifice plays a prominent part in the celebration, which also signals the beginning of the mango season. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. (1862)

Today’s Birthday:
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. (1862)

Hughes was an American statesman and jurist. He served as governor of New York and as a Supreme Court justice before losing the 1916 presidential race, one of the closest in US history. It has been reported that, on the night of the election, Hughes went to bed believing he had won. According to the story, a reporter later called and was told that “the president is asleep,” to which he responded, “When he wakes up, tell him he isn’t the president.” What did Hughes do after losing the election? More…:

This Day in History: Buchenwald Concentration Camp Liberated by American Troops (1945)

This Day in History:
Buchenwald Concentration Camp Liberated by American Troops (1945)

Buchenwald was one of the first and largest concentration camps in Nazi Germany. As US forces closed in on the camp near the end of WWII, the Nazis began evacuating its prisoners, forcing them on “death marches” during which an estimated 13,500 were killed. On April 9, inmates at the camp used a makeshift radio transmitter to inform the Allies about the evacuations and beg for help. What did the prisoners do when they received word that the Americans were coming to liberate them? More…:

Quote of the Day: Herman Melville

Quote of the Day:
Herman Melville

No man can ever feel his own identity aright except his eyes be closed; as if darkness were indeed the proper element of our essences, though light be more congenial to our clayey part. More…:

Article of the Day: Operation Gladio

Article of the Day:
Operation Gladio

In 1990, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti exposed a clandestine NATO “stay-behind” initiative in which cells of agents secretly remained in various nations after WWII, purportedly to conduct sabotage and organize and arm resistance groups in the event of a Soviet invasion. Implicated in multiple bombings, murders, and false-flag operations across Europe, the CIA-backed Operation Gladio was condemned by European Parliament and disbanded. What activities may have been sponsored by Gladio? More…:

Idiom of the Day: get (one’s) ears lowered

Idiom of the Day:
get (one’s) ears lowered

To get a haircut, especially to a length that reveals one’s ears. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: soothsayer

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) One who claims to be able to foretell events or predict the future; a seer.

Synonyms: forecaster, predictor, prognosticator

Usage: My mother does indeed sometimes send for a soothsayer and question him, but I give his prophesying no heed.:

Horoscope♉: 04/09/2020


Your energy is probably pretty low today, Taurus. You won’t feel like socializing, nor will you feel like staying in and reading or watching TV. Chances are you won’t know what to do with yourself all day. Under these circumstances, the best thing to do is find a distraction. Go work out, read a thrilling book, go to a funny movie. Get your mind off your lethargy and it could well disappear.:

Today’s Holiday: Galveston Island FeatherFest

Today’s Holiday:
Galveston Island FeatherFest

Begun in 2002, the Galveston Island FeatherFest is intended to celebrate the “birds and natural heritage of the Upper Texas Coastal area.” Some 300 species of birds are found on Galveston Island in the springtime as they stop off during their migration north. The FeatherFest allows bird enthusiasts the chance to go on field trips to photograph and watch the birds. Prominent environmental writers, naturalists, and artists are the leaders of these field trips. Seminars, workshops, and lectures on the wildlife in the community are also available, and a FeatherFest Photo Contest is held. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Hugo Grotius (1583)

Today’s Birthday:
Hugo Grotius (1583)

Grotius was a Dutch jurist, philosopher, and writer. He enrolled at the University of Leiden at the age of 11 and became a lawyer at 15. Among his key legal treatises is the first definitive text on international law, On the Law of War and Peace, which prescribes rules for the conduct of war and advances the idea that nations are bound by natural law. In 1615, he became involved in a religious controversy that extended to politics and was eventually imprisoned. How did he escape? More…:

This Day in History: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Is Published (1925)

This Day in History:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Is Published (1925)

Considered to be Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby is a devastating critique of the American Dream and materialism at the height of the Roaring Twenties. It is the story of a bootlegger, Jay Gatsby, whose obsessive dream of wealth and lost love is destroyed by a corrupt reality. Today used as required reading in many high schools, the book has been cited as the paragon of the Great American Novel. Why did Fitzgerald dislike the title, and what did he want to call his novel? More…:

Quote of the Day: Aristotle

Quote of the Day:

Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil—and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty. More…:

Article of the Day: The Congreve Rocket

Article of the Day:
The Congreve Rocket

After the British first encountered rocketry in the 1790s in India during the Mysore Wars, Sir William Congreve was asked to develop a similar weapon for Britain. He created the Congreve rocket, which was guided by a long pole, much like a bottle rocket—and was similarly unpredictable. Still, its relatively long range of 2 miles (3 kilometers) was unprecedented, and it had a major impact on the development of modern warfare. What famous American song was inspired by Congreve rockets in action? More…:

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) druthers

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) druthers

To have one’s choice or preference; to have things the way one would like them to be; to have one’s way. Usually formulated as “if I had my druthers…”. Primarily heard in US. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: mutable

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Capable of or tending to change in form or quality or nature.

Synonyms: changeable

Usage: The concierge warned me that the island’s mutable weather patterns could interfere with our plans for an outdoor wedding, but our big day turned out to be sunny and mild.:

Horoscope♉: 04/08/2020


Your artistic abilities could seem a bit blocked today, Taurus. You could be anxious to complete a half-finished project, but at this point you may have no idea where to go with it. Don’t panic! Do something else for a day or two and ideas will probably flow as if by magic. If you don’t have a tight deadline, there’s no rush to complete the work now. Give it some time!:

Today’s Holiday: Passion Play at Tzintzuntzan

Today’s Holiday:
Passion Play at Tzintzuntzan

The Penitentes, or penitents, are a lay brotherhood of religious flagellants who often participate in Passion plays dramatizing the events of the last days in the life of Jesus. One of the most complete and colorful Passion plays is the one staged in Tzintzuntzan in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. Performed in an olive grove near the church, the play begins at noon on the Thursday preceding Easter with a representation of the Last Supper and continues until midnight on Good Friday. The penitents wear black loincloths and face-coverings, carrying heavy crosses in imitation of Jesus. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Eadweard J. Muybridge (1830)

Today’s Birthday:
Eadweard J. Muybridge (1830)

Muybridge was an eccentric photographic innovator who left a vast and varied body of work. He is best known for his pioneering use of multiple still cameras to photograph the stages of motion. Hired by Leland Stanford to answer the question of whether there is a moment during a horse’s stride when all four of its hooves are off the ground, he developed a special shutter for his cameras and a method for triggering them sequentially. Why was he acquitted of murdering his wife’s lover? More…:

This Day in History: The American Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House (1865)

This Day in History:
The American Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House (1865)

The first major engagement of the US Civil War was the First Battle of Bull Run, fought in 1861 partly on the farm of Wilmer McLean in Manassas, Virginia. A few years later, McLean moved to Appomattox Court House, a town which, coincidentally, would soon be the site of the war’s effective end. It was there that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in McLean’s parlor. Why did Grant stop Union troops when they began to celebrate the victory? More…:

Quote of the Day: W. Somerset Maugham

Quote of the Day:
W. Somerset Maugham

The philosopher is like a mountaineer who has with difficulty climbed a mountain for the sake of the sunrise, and arriving at the top finds only fog; whereupon he wanders down again. More…:

Article of the Day: Kumbh Mela

Article of the Day:
Kumbh Mela

Every 12 years, Hindu pilgrims gather at four sacred sites where, according to Hindu mythology, four drops of the nectar of immortality were accidentally spilled from a pot that the gods and demons were fighting over. During the festival, pilgrims ritually bathe in the river Ganges to wash away sins of their past lives and pray to escape the cycle of reincarnation. The Kumbh Mela is thought to be the largest periodic human gathering in the world. How many people attended the festival in 2001? More…:

Idiom of the Day: have its/(one’s) day

Idiom of the Day:
have its/(one’s) day

To be at the height of or experience success or prosperity. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: tactile

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch.

Synonyms: haptic, tactual

Usage: Hannah’s velvet couch was such a tactile delight that she often chose to sleep on it rather than her bed.:

Trump Attacks W.H.O. and Ousts Watchdog for Pandemic Fund

Horoscope♉: 04/07/2020


Today your mind should be especially quick and penetrating, Taurus. You could decide to tackle some in-depth research that you’ve been considering doing for a while on a subject that fascinates you. You might also want to discuss the subject with someone close to you who shares this interest. Don’t be surprised if you come up with some intriguing insights. Write everything down. You may want to make use of it later.:

Today’s Holiday: Moriones Festival

Today’s Holiday:
Moriones Festival

Held on the island-province of Marinduque with participants wearing masks and costumes of Roman soldiers, Moriones tells the story of the legendary Roman soldier Longinus. As he pierced the side of the crucified Jesus, a drop of the blood cured his blindness. Many local men take part in the play, performing the roles of Roman soldiers. They wear large wooden masks covered with black beards and painted with enormous black eyes. The Roman soldiers lead Longinus to a scaffold, but he continues to declare his faith in Christ. The Moriones cut his head off and carry it through town. More…:

Today’s Birthday: Sonja Henie (1912)

Today’s Birthday:
Sonja Henie (1912)

Henie began ice skating at the age of eight and won the first of six straight Norwegian figure-skating championships within two years. Starting in 1927, she won the world’s figure-skating crown 10 straight years, the European title six times, and the Olympic gold medal three times. She introduced music and dance into free skating, greatly broadening its appeal, and turned professional in 1936, earning millions starring in films and ice shows. Why did many Norwegians consider her a quisling? More…:

This Day in History: Tennis Player Arthur Ashe Announces He Has AIDS (1992)

This Day in History:
Tennis Player Arthur Ashe Announces He Has AIDS (1992)

Ashe was the first African-American male to reach prominence in tennis and was thus a very public figure, even after his retirement, which followed a 1979 heart attack and quadruple-bypass surgery. In 1983, he contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during a second heart surgery. He kept it a secret until 1992, when a newspaper threatened to publish a story about his illness. His subsequent openness about AIDS helped combat the disease’s stigma. What did he say about asking “Why me?” More…:

Quote of the Day: Wilkie Collins

Quote of the Day:
Wilkie Collins

One of our first amusements as children (if we have any imagination at all) is to get out of our own characters, and to try the characters of other personages as a change—to be fairies, to be queens, to be anything, in short, but what we really are. More…:

Article of the Day: Arabesque

Article of the Day:

Though the arabesque motif most likely originated with the works of Hellenistic craftsmen in Asia Minor, the complex, linear style of decoration became typical of Islamic ornamentation around 1000 CE and thus became associated with Arab culture. It is characterized by symmetric, interlacing geometric patterns with flowing lines and often incorporates flower or animal motifs and Arabic calligraphy. Why are mistakes in the complicated, repetitive patterns sometimes made intentionally? More…:

Idiom of the Day: have it out (with someone)

Idiom of the Day:
have it out (with someone)

To have an argument, verbal fight, or frank discussion (with someone), especially to settle something that has caused anger, frustration, or annoyance. Watch the video…:

Word of the Day: nonobjective

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature.

Synonyms: abstract, nonfigurative

Usage: The focal point of the living room was a massive, nonobjective painting that looked to me like nothing more than a chaotic mess of colors and splotches.:

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