Quote of the Day

George Eliot
There is no feeling, perhaps, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. Discuss

Sun Tzu
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

Lucy Maud Montgomery
We are never half so interesting when we have learned that language is given us to enable us to conceal our thoughts.

This Day in History

The Mount Everest Disaster (1996)
During the spring climbing season in 1996, 15 people died trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest, making it the deadliest season in the mountain's history. Eight of the deaths occurred on a single day in May, when climbers were caught by a fierce storm. The disaster was chronicled in a number of books, including one by journalist Jon Krakauer, who was on assignment writing about the commercialization and overcrowding of Everest. What non-weather factors contributed to the deaths that day? Discuss

US Supreme Court Classifies Tomatoes as Vegetables, Not Fruit (1893)
To most of us, a fruit is a sweet plant part eaten as a dessert or snack, but to a botanist, a fruit is a mature ovary of a plant. All species of flowering plants produce fruits that contain seeds. A vegetable, on the other hand, is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food. The tomato—one of the newer additions to world cuisine—can be said to meet both criteria but is technically a fruit. Why was the Supreme Court tasked with classifying the tomato in the first place?

First Flight over the North Pole? (1926)
In 1926, aviators Floyd Bennett and Richard Byrd took off from Spitsbergen Island on what would be a historic flight. When they returned, they announced that they had flown over the North Pole, becoming the first to do so. Although both men received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the feat—and Byrd went on to make the first flight over the South Pole in 1929—many were skeptical about their North Pole claims. What diary entries have led many to believe they never reached the pole?

Today

Martha Graham (1894)
In a career spanning more than half a century, American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham transformed the art of dance with her revolutionary style and choreography. Her technique became the first significant alternative to classical ballet, and her influence extended worldwide through her students, many of whom went on to become choreographers themselves. One of the foremost pioneers of modern dance, Graham was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House and to receive what honor? Discuss

Gustav Stresemann (1878)
A German statesman, Stresemann entered the Reichstag in 1907 as a deputy of the National Liberal party. During World War I, he supported the monarchy and an annexationist policy, but after the proclamation of a German republic in 1918, he founded the conservative German People's party and turned to a conciliatory policy. As chancellor and foreign minister of the Weimar Republic from 1923, he worked to reconcile former enemy nations to Germany. With whom did he share the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize?

Roger Hargreaves (1935)
English children's book author and illustrator Roger Hargreaves is best remembered for his beloved Mr. Men and Little Miss books, featuring colorful, boldly drawn characters like Mr. Silly, Mr. Happy, and Little Miss Chatterbox. Hargreaves is said to have been inspired to create the series after his young son innocently asked what a tickle looked like. Since 1971, when Mr. Tickle was first published, his books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. What does a tickle look like?