" Potable, n.: Suitable for drinking. Water is said to be potable; indeed, some declare it our natural beverage, although even they find it palatable only when suffering from the recurrent disorder known as thirst, for which it is a medicine. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


Star Wars Is Released

After its release in 1977, Star Wars became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, spawning two film sequels and three prequels as well as myriad novels, video games, and comic books. The films, which grossed over $4 billion, chronicle Luke Skywalker's quest to help the rebels defeat an evil empire and iconic villain Darth Vader. What US president's proposed strategic defense system against nuclear attacks, which was to include space-based lasers, was derisively dubbed "Star Wars"?




Boggarts are malevolent household spirits of British folklore that latch on to unfortunate families and cause trouble for them by making things disappear, making milk go sour, and even stripping the linens off of beds in which people are sleeping. Superstitions about boggarts vary but often include the beliefs that the creatures should never be named and that hanging a horseshoe on the door of a house will keep them away. The features of what Uranian moon are named after mischievous spirits?

Born on a day like today


Sir Ian McKellen

Acclaimed as the leading Shakespearean player of his generation, McKellen is an English stage and screen actor as well as a prominent spokesman for the gay community. He gained fame in 1969 with the title role in Marlowe's controversial play Edward II and has since added science fiction and fantasy to his repertoire of genres. His recent roles in blockbuster films such as The Lord of the Rings and X-Men have earned him widespread recognition. In what film did he play Death?

Last updated on Tuesday, 25th May 2010

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