Quote of the Day

Aristotle
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire. Discuss

William Shakespeare
Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love.

Gilbert Chesterton
"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."

This Day in History

Council of Trent Convened (1545)
The Council of Trent made sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church over 18 years, eliminating many abuses criticized in the Protestant Reformation. Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento, Italy—28 years after Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses—the council fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, defined the nature of original sin, and confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation. How many years was it until the next ecumenical council? Discuss

Clapham Junction Rail Crash (1988)
Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train's rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure?

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Established (1946)
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)—now the United Nations Children's Fund—was founded in 1946 for the purpose of providing relief to children in countries devastated by World War II. After 1950, it turned to general children's welfare programs, winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965. Today, it focuses on areas in which relatively small expenditures can have a significant impact. How did its famous "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" fundraising campaign begin?

Today

Emily Carr (1871)
Now considered an icon of Canadian art, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in life. She primarily painted indigenous-themed or landscape scenes, and she was relatively unknown until her work was featured in a 1927 exhibition at the National Gallery, when she was in her 50s. Carr continued to paint thereafter but had to reduce her artistic output in her 70s due to health concerns. Instead, Carr began to pursue what other talent for which she is also remembered? Discuss

Helen Frankenthaler (1928)
A member of abstract expressionism's second generation, Frankenthaler was greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock. Inspired by his way of working on a canvas laid on the floor rather than mounted upright, Frankenthaler developed a technique for staining unprimed canvases with thinned pigments that she poured. Her work gave rise to the color-field movement of the late 50s. An appointee to the National Endowment for the Arts, she controversially opposed government grants to artists on what grounds?

Max Born (1882)
A prominent German physicist, Born taught theoretical physics at the University of Göttingen from 1921 to 1933, until Nazi policies forced him—a person of Jewish descent—to flee to England, where he continued to teach at the university level. He made contributions to various branches of physics, including solid-state physics and optics, but his most important work was that related to quantum mechanics, which earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954. What noted scientists studied under Born?