Today is Wednesday, Dec. 5, the 340th day of 2012. There are 26 days left in the year.
Highlights in history
In 1776: The first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
In 1782: The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, N.Y.
In 1792: George Washington was re-elected president; John Adams was re-elected vice president.
In 1831: Former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1848: President James K. Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
In 1932: German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
In 1933: National Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
In 1955: The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO.
In 1991: Richard Speck, who'd murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966, died in prison.
In 1994: Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.
10 years ago: Strom Thurmond, the oldest and (until Robert Byrd overtook him) longest-serving senator in history, celebrated his 100th birthday on Capitol Hill.
Five years ago: A teenage gunman went on a rampage at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, killing six store employees and two customers; Robert A. Hawkins, 19, then took his life.,by JERALDINE SAUNDERS
ARIES (March 21-April 19): There is safety in numbers. Stick to popular opinions and common wisdom for the next few days.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Knowledge is power. You don't miss a trick, as the facts you don't possess are obtained with a little digging.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You can handle intricate mental tasks at work; quick reflexes and manual dexterity win games during playtime.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Be thorough with paperwork, numbers and mental work. Don't be startled by unexpected disclosures from fickle companions.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Recent inspirational messages or people might have provided a guideline for the development of a new project or joint venture.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your ability to take action and make practical decisions is at its best level during the daytime hours.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Affairs of the heart can prove satisfying. Touch base by phone or send romantic reminders by text or email throughout the day.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Sift through the nonessentials, and look for assets and trustworthy people.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22- Dec. 21): A co-worker could turn into a friend. A frequent companion might convince you of doing something against your better judgment.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22- Jan. 19): Freeze; don't take action. Your best bet is to be as friendly as possible to the greatest number of people.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20- Feb. 18): Your thoughts can take on a life of their own, so it is wise to remain optimistic, sincere and cheerful.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You have a head for businesss, but could meet up with those who prefer play. Make valuable connections.
IF DEC. 5 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: You are wiser and wittier than usual during the next four to six weeks, so put key plans into motion or ask for favors and advice. This is a good time to apply for a job or meet those with romantic ideas in their hearts. Only people who are good for you can get their foot in the door, so anything that doesn't pan out probably wasn't good for you in the first place. …