Ameliorate

Word of the day  

circumspect

Definition: adj. wary, cautious; taking everything into account.
Synonyms: discreet
Etymology: ME f. L circumspicere circumspect- (as CIRCUM-, specere spect- look) (more...)

Quote of the day  

A friend doesn't go on a diet because you are fat.
by Erma Bombeck

Birthday of the day  

Henry II, Count of Champagne

Henry II of Champagne (or Henry I of Jerusalem) (29 July 1166 – 10 September 1197) was count of Champagne from 1181 to 1197, and king of Jerusalem from 1192 to 1197, although he never used the title of king.

Joke of the day  

A couple is in bed sleeping when there's a rat-a-tat-tat on the door. The husband rolls over and looks at the clock, and it's half past 3 in the morning. 'I'm not getting out of bed at this time,' he thinks, and rolls over. Then, a louder knock follows. So he drags himself out of bed, goes downstairs, opens the door, and there's a man standing there. It didn't take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk. 'Hi there,' slurs the stranger, 'Can you give me a push?' 'No, get lost. It's half past three and I was in bed,' says the man as he slams the door. He goes back up to bed and tell his wife what happened and she says, 'That wasn't very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the baby-sitter and you had to knock on that man's house to get us started again? What would have happened if he'd told us to get lost?' 'But the guy was drunk,' says the husband. 'It doesn't matter,' says the wife.' He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him.' So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs. He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere, He shouts, 'Hey, do you still want a push?' And he hears a voice cry out, 'Yeah, please.' So, still being unable to see the stranger he shouts, 'Where are you?' The drunk replies, 'Over here, on the swing.'

Thought of the day  

One doesn't discover new lands without losing sight of the shore.

Fact of the day  

238 – The Praetorian Guard storm the palace and capture Pupienus and Balbinus. They are dragged through the streets of Rome and executed. On the same day, Gordian III, age 13, is proclaimed emperor.
 

Biography of the day  

E. J. Josey

E. J. Josey is an American activist, librarian and Professor Emeritus, Department of Library and Information Science, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. During the early 1960's, he participated in the Civil Rights struggle in Savannah. He served on the Executive Board of the Savannah Branch of the NAACP as well as the Executive Board of the Albany, NY Branch of the NAACP. In 1964 he carried the Civil Rights struggle into the American Library Association. In spite of the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision, which encouraged desegregation of libraries and ALA chapters, the ALA was slow in implementing integration of all of its southern chapters until Josey offered his resolution at the 1964 Conference which prevented ALA officers and staff members from attending segregated state chapter meetings. The four remaining segregated chapters that denied membership to African American librarians at that time were Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi; and they integrated immediately. He is well known for his uncompromising opposition to any form of discrimination whether it is racial, gender, age or sexual orientation.

Article of the day  

William Calcraft

William Calcraft (1800–1879) was the most famous English hangman of the 19th century. One of the most prolific British executioners of all time, it is estimated that he carried out 450 executions during his 45-year career. A cobbler by trade, Calcraft was initially recruited to flog juvenile offenders after meeting the City of London's hangman, John Foxton, while selling meat pies near Newgate Prison. He succeeded Foxton, but his controversial use of the short-drop method of hanging, in which the victims were strangled rather than had their vertebrae broken by the fall when the trapdoor on the gallows was released, caused some to consider him incompetent. Many took several minutes to die, and to hasten their deaths Calcraft sometimes pulled on their legs, or even climbed on their shoulders in an attempt to break their necks. Calcraft's antics may have been intended to entertain the crowds of more than 30,000 that sometimes attended his executions before a change in the law in 1868 meant that executions could only take place in prisons. Among his victims were Marie and Frederick Manning, the first husband and wife to be hanged together since 1700.

Did you know

  • that Plymouth Sound, Shores and Cliffs has units of rock showing the lower to early Middle Devonian period, laid 417-354 million years ago?
  • that rugby union footballer Robert Wilson Shaw was so influential in Scotland's Triple Crown winning victory over England in 1938 that the match became known as 'Wilson Shaw's match'?
  • that County Route 91 in Onondaga County, New York is signed as County Route 57 for New York State Route 57, the route it replaced?
  • that a single cave in the Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos is used by at least 22 species of bats?