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    Cursed!

    Most people know that curses aren’t really real. But sometimes it certainly feels that someone has cast a hex. We take a look at some famous curses in history, and the people—and an animal—that reportedly caused them.
    A mummy’s wrath
    The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 was a worldwide sensation. It also reportedly led to a number of deaths, including that of Howard Carter, who led the expedition.
    Curse of the Bambino
    The Bambino was Babe Ruth, and the cursed were the Boston Red Sox. The team sold the baseball player to the New York Yankees in 1920, thus causing a World Series drought that didn’t end until 2004.
    Retribution that’s hard to stomach
    Visitors to Mexico have long been warned that if they drink the water, they’ll suffer “Montezuma’s revenge.” But who was he, and why did he want vengeance?
    What did a billy goat have against the Cubs?
    That’s what Chicago fans wondered for 108 years. However, the alleged curse finally ended in 2016, when the team won the World Series.

    For the Birds

    Did you know that there are more than 200 billion birds on the planet? That comes out to about 25 per person. No wonder we see and hear so many every day. But how much do you know about birds? Read on for some interesting avian facts.
    Why Is Bird Poop White?
    Demystified / Science
    ? FloridaStock/Shutterstock.com
    How Do Penguins Tell Each Other Apart?
    Demystified / Science
    ? Kwest/stock.adobe.com

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    Washington Monument. Washington Monument and fireworks, Washington DC. The Monument was built as an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington.
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    Go for gold with this crossword puzzle about the sports of the Summer Olympics!
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    From the pool to the track, we're testing your knowledge of famous Olympic athletes in this crossword puzzle. (Answers are...
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    Memorable Moments at the Summer Olympics
    The Olympic Games have generated many truly memorable moments over the years. Click Play to find out how many you know about.
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    William Shakespeare profoundly influenced the English language and the direction of British drama. And if that weren't enough,...
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    Japan, the host country of the Summer Olympic Games in 2021, is a country composed of four main islands and numerous smaller...
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    Use this puzzle to find out how well you know the history of the Olympic Games, ancient and modern.
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    Alphabetized your bookshelf recently? That may help with this puzzle, because each answer starts with the letter B.
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    Podcasts

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    Botanize Podcast logo
    Botanize!
    Botanize!, hosted by Melissa Petruzzello, is a podcast that will introduce you to some of the world’s most remarkable plants, fungi, and algae. These overlooked organisms have fascinating evolutionary stories to tell about survival, exploitation, adaptation, and general scrappiness, and every episode will pique your curiosity. From parasitic plants to kelp forests, Botanize! aims to showcase some of Earth’s finest nonanimal life-forms and their brilliant ecologies.
    Postcards from the 6th Mass Extinction. audio series, podcast logo
    Postcards from the 6th Mass Extinction
    So far there have been five notable mass extinctions on Earth. A growing number of scientists argue that we’re now in the midst of a sixth. Postcards from the 6th Mass Extinction is a podcast hosted by John P. Rafferty that attempts to personalize extinction, emphasizing the survival challenges that familiar forms of life currently face, while at the same time considering the pivotal roles they play in their own ecosystems.
    On This Day. Audio Series, Podcast logo
    On This Day
    Hear the stories that propelled us to the present day through insights that lend perspective to our world with a nod to our own humanity. Britannica media editor Kurt Heintz, together with Emily Goldstein and Meg Matthias, is on a mission to spotlight poignant and noteworthy events for every day of the year.

    New on Britannica

    Dancers at the Cinco de Mayo parade, May 8, 2017, Denver, Colorado.
    Hispanic Americans

    Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority in the United States, forming more than one-sixth of the country’s population. There are more than 50 million Hispanic Americans, living in all 50 states.

    Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942. An Army Air Force B-25B bomber takes off from USS Hornet (CV-8) at the start of the raid, April 18, 1942. Note men watching from the signal lamp platform at right..
    Doolittle Raid

    On April 18, 1942, Lieut. Col. James H. Doolittle of the U.S. Army Air Forces led a spectacular surprise attack on Tokyo that caused little damage but boosted Allied morale.

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    Step back from the day-to-day and get a global perspective with the annual Britannica Premium Membership. News in context, brain teasers and quizzes, plus editor’s roundups on trending topics.

    Browse by Category

    Entertainment & Pop Culture Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Entertainment and leisure activities have been a part of all cultures in one form or another since the ancient times, whether the activity in question involved participating in a dance performance, attending a Broadway show, going to a music festival, or watching a movie.
    Featured
    Geography & Travel Geography & Travel
    Planet Earth contains some extraordinarily diverse environments, some of which are easily habitable and some not so much. In different areas of Earth, one might find sweltering deserts, dense tropical rainforests, or bone-chilling tundras. Each biome and habitat comes with its own selection of flora and fauna, and it may include physical features such as canyons, volcanoes, rivers, or caves. Human beings have built homes in many different environments, settling the area and organizing it into units such as cities, states, regions, and countries, each with its own points of interest. Shifting trends in human migration have resulted in a human geography that is profoundly different from that of centuries ago.
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    • Islands
      Lots of people love island getaways for their sun and...
    • Countries of the World
      Which country claims "Waltzing Matilda" as their unofficial...
    Health & Medicine Health & Medicine
    The study of the human mind and body, how these function, and how they interact—not only with each other but also with their environment—has been of utmost importance in ensuring human well-being. Research on potential treatments and preventive medicine has expanded greatly with the development of modern medicine, and a network of disciplines, including such fields as genetics, psychology, and nutrition, aims to facilitate the betterment of our health.
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    Lifestyles & Social Issues Lifestyles & Social Issues
    It's easy enough to agree that human beings all around the world have certain basic requirements that must be fulfilled in order to ensure their individual and collective well-being. History has shown us, however, that it's not so easy to form societies or communities that fulfill these requirements for all members. The fight over human and civil rights has persisted for hundreds of years and remains alive today, both within the borders of nations and on an international scale. It has led to large-scale social movements and reforms concerning issues such as suffrage, slavery, women's rights, racial discrimination, environmentalism, gay rights, and more.
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    Literature Literature
    With the development of language, the human imagination has found a way to create and communicate through the written word. A literary work can transport us into a fictional, fantastic new world, describe a fleeting feeling, or simply give us a picture of the past through novels, poems, tragedies, epic works, and other genres. Through literature, communication becomes an art, and it can bridge and bond people and cultures of different languages and backgrounds.
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    Philosophy & Religion Philosophy & Religion
    Humans have long pondered not only how we came to be but also why we came to be. The earliest Greek philosophers focused their attention upon the origin and nature of the physical world; later philosophers have theorized about the nature of knowledge, truth, good and evil, love, friendship, and much more. Thus, philosophy involves a methodical assessment of any and all aspects of human existence and experience. The realms of philosophy and religion have sometimes intersected in conducting inquiries such as these. As with philosophy, the study of religion underscores how humankind has long speculated about its origins. The possibility of a higher being (or beings) to which livings things owe their existence has long captived human thought. Many religions also offer their own views on the nature of good and evil, and they may prescribe guidelines and judgment on different kinds of human behavior.
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    Politics, Law & Government Politics, Law & Government
    The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, each of which possesses a national government that claims to exercise sovereignty and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Governments can be classified in any number of ways. For example, they might be classified by the number of rulers, thus distinguishing government by one (as in a monarchy or a tyranny) from government by the few (in an aristocracy or oligarchy) and from government by the many (as in a democracy). Governments can also be classified by mode of succession; for example, ascension to governmental leadership may follow the rules of hereditary succession, or it may be determined through elections or by force. Governments also vary in terms of the laws and rules of conduct that each political entity follows.
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    Science Science
    How can the sky be blue one day and stormy the next? Why do heavy objects tend to fall downwards when dropped? How are birds able to fly (and why can’t I do the same?)? Human beings have long been curious about the world in which we live, striving to identify connections among the phenomenons we witness and to understand how it all works. The field of science has developed over many centuries as a way of studying and understanding the world, beginning with the primitive stage of simply noting important regularities in nature and continuing through the rise of modern science. The modern-day sciences cover a vast range of fields, including biology, chemistry, meteorology, astronomy, physics, and much more.
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    Sports & Recreation Sports & Recreation
    Physical contests and recreational games have long played a part in human society. In both team and solo sports, the human body has been pushed to its limits in the name of improving athletic performance and to break record upon record. The ancient Olympic Games are an early example of the contests in which humans have engaged to showcase physical prowess. In modern times, sports and games have evolved into a lucrative and competitive industry, while other leisure activities, such as card and video games, can be competitive or can just be a way to unwind or socialize.
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    Technology Technology
    Humankind has long striven to improve its living conditions through the development of tools, instruments, and transportation and communications systems, all with the goal of making our lives easier, more productive and—why not—more fun, too! Thanks to human curiosity and technological research, many significant inventions have been made throughout history that in turn made a difference in our daily lives.
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    Visual Arts Visual Arts
    These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination. They include the most ancient forms, such as painting and drawing, and the arts that were born thanks to the development of technology, like sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art, the latter a combination of multiple creative expressions. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different eras in art history have had their own principles to define beauty, from the richly ornamented taste of the Baroque to the simple, utilitarian style of the Prairie School.
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    World History World History
    Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
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