Word of the day  


Definition: resist openly; refuse to obey.
Synonyms: withstand, hold, hold up
Etymology: ME f. OF defier f. Rmc (as DIS-, L fidus faithful) (more...)

Quote of the day  

A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.
by Henri B. Stendhal

Birthday of the day  

Sigismund of Austria

Sigismund of Austria, Duke, then Archduke of Further Austria (October 26, 1427 – March 4, 1496) was a Habsburg archduke of Austria and ruler of Tirol from 1446 to 1490.

Joke of the day  

A young girl came home from a date looking sad. She told her mother, 'Charles proposed to me a few minutes ago.' 'Then why are you so sad?' her mother asked. 'Because he also mentioned he is an atheist. Mom, he doesn't believe there's hell!? Her mother replied, 'Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we'll show him how wrong he is.'

Thought of the day  

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, but the one most responsive to change.

Fact of the day  

306 – Martyrdom of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki

Biography of the day  

Marcia Davenport

Marcia Davenport (9 June 1903-16 Jan. 1996), author and critic, was born Abigail Glick in New York City to Bernard Glick, an insurance agent, and Reba Fiersohn Glick. Both parents were the children of Jewish ?migr?s from eastern Europe who settled in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. During her early childhood she spent several summers in Italy, France, and Switzerland with her mother, who was studying voice abroad in preparation for a career as a concert singer. Mother and daughter returned to New York in 1909, and later that year Reba Glick, now known as Alma Gluck, made her professional debut in a well-received concert performance at the Metropolitan Opera.

Article of the day  

Byzantine civil war of 1341–47

The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 broke out after the death of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos (pictured). As his chief aide and closest friend, John VI Kantakouzenos became regent for the Emperor's young son and heir, John V Palaiologos. While Kantakouzenos was absent from Constantinople, a new regency was established with support from Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, which launched a persecution of Kantakouzenos' family and supporters. In response, Kantakouzenos was proclaimed co-emperor at Demotika on 26 October 1341. During the first years of the war, the forces of the new regency prevailed. Most of the cities in Thrace and Macedonia came under regency control, but Kantakouzenos reversed these gains with assistance from the neighbouring rulers of Serbia and the Turkish beyliks. Kantakouzenos was crowned in 1346, and entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V, until the boy came of age. Despite this apparent victory, a subsequent resumption of the civil war forced Kantakouzenos to retire to become a monk in 1354. The conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, as seven years of warfare, marauding armies, social turmoil, the loss of territory to neighbouring rulers, and the Black Death devastated Byzantium, reducing it to a rump state.

Did you know

  • that in Francisco Goya's painting Carlos IV in his Hunting Clothes the artist showed his debt to Titian's 1533 Charles V by showing a dog sniffing at the royal crotch?
  • that pre-colonial sexual customs in the Philippines involved equating the size of a woman's breasts and the wideness of her hips with the price of the dowry?
  • that it is speculated that Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus were commissioned by Constantine I?
  • that Lawrence Turner, who presented a Parliamentary petition calling for W. S. Gilbert's copyright on the libretti of Gilbert and Sullivan operas to be extended indefinitely, was the grandson of comic actor George Grossmith who starred in them?