" Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent. "
Virginia Woolf

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History

Chinese River Dolphin Declared Functionally Extinct

Found only in China's Yangtze River, the baiji was a pale, nearly blind freshwater dolphin species nicknamed the "Goddess of the Yangtze." Though it had lived there for millennia, its population declined precipitously in the late 20th century as an industrialized China made heavy use of the river. Many were injured by fishing gear and boat propellers. The species was finally declared functionally extinct after a six-week search failed to locate any baiji. When was the last baiji caught on film?

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"…and Bob's Your Uncle."

"Bob's your uncle" is an expression used in British English. It typically concludes a simple set of instructions and is equivalent to "you're all set." The phrase first appeared in print in the 1930s, and its origins are unclear. It may have been derived from the saying "all is bob," which means "all is well." Some theories point to specific "Bobs" who may have inspired the phrase. One such candidate, British Prime Minister Robert Cecil, appointed his nephew to what prestigious post in 1887?

Born on a day like today

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Ella Baker

Though Baker was not as well known as some of the other leaders of the US civil rights movement, she spent more than 50 years as a behind-the-scenes activist. Baker grew up in rural North Carolina listening to her grandmother's stories about slavery. After college, she moved to New York City and became involved in social justice activism. She worked with student groups, political organizations, and religious coalitions to facilitate collective action. What prompted her to protest against Italy?

Last updated on Thursday, 13th December 2012

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