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Monday, December 22, 2014 | View Archive | Save / Send this Page ?
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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
Usage:Of all her idiosyncrasies, I find her tendency to dance while cooking the most charming. Discuss.

Article of the Day


The Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley, or Convallaria majalis, lives in shady places and has delicate bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers that grow on a stalk between two shiny leaves. This common garden plant is a symbol of humility in religious paintings. It has also long been used medicinally for cardiac disorders—even though it contains poisonous substances and has been labeled unsafe by the US Food and Drug Administration. The lily of the valley is the national flower of what country? More... Discuss

In the News


McDonald's Rationing French Fries in Japan

The 3,100 some McDonald's restaurants in Japan have begun offering only the small size of French fries in an emergency step to avoid the possibility of completely running out of fries at some locations before the end of the year. The shortage of French fries is due to delays in the shipping of frozen fries from ports on the West coast of the US. A number of factors have led to the delays, including a lengthy labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping terminals. A representative of McDonald's Japan said restaurants will not limit the amount of orders of small fries a customer can purchase. More... Discuss

This Day in History


US Bans Trade with All Foreign Nations (1807)

In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, US Congress passed legislation banning trade between its ports and foreign nations. The Embargo Act was meant to pressure England and France to remove restrictions on commercial trading with neutral nations that they imposed in their war with each other. Napoleon had earlier decreed that no French ally or neutral nation could trade with Britain, and Britain had retaliated by blockading the northern European coastline. Did the embargo have the desired effect? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Jean Racine (1639)

Though Racine bore substantial criticism from his contemporaries, he is now considered one of France's "big three" 17th-century dramatists, along with Corneille and Molière. Racine's tragedies are a prime example of French classicism, and his Alexandrine verse is considered exceptional in its harmony, simplicity, and elegance. His Andromaque, about the tragic folly of passionate love, earned him recognition as France's leading tragic dramatist. What created a rift between him and Molière? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) Discuss

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n. Realization of something desired or worked for; accomplishment
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Today's Holiday


Forefathers' Day (2014)

Observed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and by various New England societies throughout the country, Forefathers' Day commemorates the landing of the Pilgrims, who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower and established the second English colony in North America. The Old Colony Club of Plymouth was the first group to observe the anniversary in 1769, and members still celebrate Forefathers' Day on December 22. Wearing top hats and led by a drummer, they march down the main street of Plymouth. After firing a small cannon, they return to their Club for breakfast and toasts to the Pilgrims. More... Discuss