" Cynic, n: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. "
Ambrose Bierce

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John Milton Publishes Areopagitica

Best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton, a 17th-century English poet, was also a writer of several political and moral pamphlets. More than two decades before his poetic masterpiece was published, Milton wrote Areopagitica, his best known prose work. One of the great arguments in favor of the freedom of the press, it was published in 1644 in response to his dissatisfaction with the strict censorship of the press exercised by Parliament. For what is the pamphlet named?

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The Giant Clam

Also known as the bear's paw clam, Tridacna gigas is the largest bivalve mollusk in the world. Found in the South Pacific and Indian oceans, especially in the Great Barrier Reef, the giant clam can weigh more than 500 lb (225 kg) and grow to more than 4 ft (120 cm) in length. The clams are a source of food for people of the South Pacific and have also been harvested for their huge shells. Why are stories of people being trapped within giant clams unlikely to be true?

Born on a day like today

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Boris Karloff

London native William Henry Pratt adopted the stage name Boris Karloff while touring as an actor in Canada. After settling in Hollywood in 1919, he began acting in silent films and achieved stardom playing the monster in Frankenstein (1931). Thereafter typecast as a horror movie villain, Karloff went on to appear in more than 100 films. His most famous television performance was in the 1966 animated special How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in which he voiced which characters?

Last updated on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010

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