marplot – A person who spoils a plot or who ruins the success of an undertaking or process. More…

acid test – A test that is conclusive of the value or success of something, derived from the original use of nitric acid as a test for gold. More…

core asset, core competency – A core asset is something essential to success, and a core competency is a distinguishing advantage. More…

exploit – Originally meant “progress, success,” and “speed.” More…

Daylight Saving Time Adopted as Law in the US (1918)

Daylight saving time (DST) is the system of advancing clocks forward one hour near the start of spring to increase “usable” hours of daylight in the afternoon. Though Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784, DST was not widely adopted until World War I. It was first used in Western European countries like Germany and England, and Newfoundland became one of the first North American jurisdictions to adopt DST in 1917. The US followed suit a year later. Which two US states do not observe DST? Discuss

Octavio Paz (1914)

Paz was a Mexican poet, critic, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote with a revealing depth of insight, elegance, and erudition that place him among the generation’s best writers. Influenced by Marxism, surrealism, existentialism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, his poetry uses rich imagery to deal with his most prominent theme: the human ability to overcome existential solitude through love and creativity. Paz was born in Mexico City during what political event? Discuss

The Great Red Spot: Jupiter's Storm

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a very large, high-pressure atmospheric feature on the planet Jupiter, characterized by anticyclonic winds circulating at a speed of about 248 mph (400 km/h). The storm has persisted on Jupiter’s surface for more than 300 years since first observed. The cause of its reddish color is unknown, and it tends to vary from brick-red to brownish. The GRS is not to be confused with another storm on Jupiter called “the Baby Red Spot,” which was initially what color? Discuss

Thomas Cranmer Becomes Archbishop of Canterbury (1533)

Cranmer was the archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of the English kings Henry VIII and Edward VI. He promoted and proclaimed Henry’s various marriages and divorces according to the king’s will and endorsed the translation of the Bible into English. Though limited under Henry, Cranmer shaped the doctrinal and liturgical transformation of the Church of England during Edward’s reign and was responsible for much of the first Book of Common Prayer. Why was Cranmer burned at the stake? Discuss

Doctors' Day

Since 1933, this day has been set aside to honor America’s physicians. It is the anniversary of the day in 1842 on which Dr. Crawford W. Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man while the patient was anesthetized by ether. Dr. Long was the first acclaimed American physician to use ether as an anesthetic agent in a surgical procedure. The red carnation is the official flower associated with Doctors’ Day. The American Medical Association promotes various activities to mark this day, including walk-a-thons and blood drives. Discuss

Ingvar Kamprad (1926)

As a boy, Kamprad showed a knack for business by buying matches in bulk and reselling them individually for profit. He grew up to establish home furnishing retail chain IKEA in 1943. In 1956, he debuted flat-boxed furniture, a revolutionary decision that enabled his company to bypass warehousing with in-store inventory and allowed customers to transport products easily. The first two letters of the acronym IKEA comes from Kamprad’s initials, I.K. What do the letters E and A stand for? Discuss