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Today in context, September 29, 2020

The Race for the White House

Tonight Donald Trump and Joe Biden square off in the first presidential debate. With the 2020 race finally entering the homestretch, we’re taking a closer look at elections.
Which party has had the most presidents?
Find out that answer and more in our Republican or Democrat? quiz.
Think your vote doesn’t matter?
These five incredibly close elections prove otherwise.
Why are U.S. elections held on Tuesdays?
Christianity, market day, and accounting all played a role.
Who was Washington’s running mate in 1789?
Test your knowledge of U.S. elections in this quiz.
How does the electoral college work?
And what happens if no candidate wins the necessary 270 votes?

Feline Fine

These cuddly little predators have been sharing space with humans for thousands of years. Join Britannica as we explore our favorite types of cat and answer questions about some of the unusual behaviors of our furry friends.
Who’s a Good Kitty?
List / Science
Provided by Alley Cat Allies/? Animal Coalition of Tampa
Why Do Cats Hate Water?
Demystified / Science
? JStone/Shutterstock.com
How Much Do You Know About Cats?
Quiz / Science
Psihopat

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asia bee map
Get to Know Asia
Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia are just a few places where you might travel to get a taste for new cultues, cuisines, and...
Catedral at night on Plaza de Armas (also known as plaza mayor) Lima, Peru.
World Capitals Quiz
Can you identify the world’s national capitals? In this quiz you’ll be shown the names of 195 countries, and you’ll need...
Chandigarh. Statuettes at the Rock Garden of Chandigarh a sculpture park in Chandigarh, India, also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden. Created by Nek Chand Saini an Indian self taught artist. visionary artist, folk artist, environmental art
Explore India Quiz
Delhi lies on which river? How many countries border India? In what state is Bengaluru? Explore India’s vibrant geography...
View of the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31, M31).
Astronomy and Space Quiz
What makes a planet a dwarf planet? How many miles are in a light-year? What exactly is a quasar? Launch into other worlds...
Pakistan Monument is a landmark in Islamabad which represents the four provinces of Pakistan.
Countries and Capitals Quiz
How well do you know the world’s capital cities? In this quiz you’ll be presented with the names of 195 capital cities. You’ll...
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.
All-American History Quiz
Who was the original Edsel? When did a U.S. president first appear on TV? Go back in time for the all-American answers.
Spotted hyena or laughing hyena  (Crocuta crocuta), South Africa. (scavenger; African animal, mammal).
Weird Animals Quiz
Why does your cat hate water? Why do flamingoes stand on one leg? Test your knowledge of some of the weirdest facts in the...
A patient having surgery in 1898. History of medicine, history of surgery, surgical history.
History of Lobotomy Quiz
Today lobotomy is a horror story; less than a century ago it was a revolutionary “fix” for misunderstood mental...
King George V of Britain, c. 1910, shortly after his accession to the throne
Quick Quiz: Weird British Royalty
When it comes to British royalty, nothing is what you’d expect. Test your knowledge of some of the weirder facets of the...
Aerial view of Geneva, Switzerland from the north tower of St-Pierre Cathedral over the city's waterfronts on both sides of Rhone river as it flows out of Lake Geneva (Lake Leman). Most of the city's landmarks are visible, starting with the famous Jet D'E
Match The City To Its Nickname Quiz
You probably know New York is known as the Big Apple, but do you know the rest of these city nicknames? Test your knowledge...

Presidential Debates

Illustration of Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln debating his opponet Stephen A. Douglas in front of crown, c. 1858. (Stephen Douglas)
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

The contest for a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois became a proxy for the debate over slavery in the United States.

Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon, left, debates Sen. John F. Kennedy, the Democratic presidential nominee uring a live broadcast from a New York television studio of their fourth presidential debate, Oct. 21, 1960. (John Kennedy, Richard Nixon)
The Kennedy-Nixon Debates

The first televised presidential debates marked the dawn of a new era in campaigning. Audiences who listened on the radio tended to think Nixon had won, while those who watched on TV claimed victory for Kennedy.

Truth In Context

With access to all of Britannica's premium articles, you can always put your world in context.

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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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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Questions are an important way for people to learn concepts, to solve problems, and to challenge ideas. We’ve created a new place where questions are at the center of our learning. Go ahead. Ask. We won’t mind.
Advocacy for Animals
Presenting Advocacy for Animals, a blog focused primarily on animal rights, wildlife conservation, environmental health and safety, and the legal and cultural issues related to these topics. This blog is a source of information and a call to action. It is meant to be a provocation and a stimulus to thought regarding humanity’s relationship with nonhuman animals.
Alain Elkann Interviews
Alain has been writing a weekly interview column for the Italian newspaper La Stampa since 1989. His interviews celebrate some of the best known and successful personalities of the present day.
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