Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, January 15, 2011)
Word of the Day

enamor

Definition:(verb) To inspire with love.
Synonyms:bewitch, captivate, charm, entrance, enchant, beguile, capture, fascinate, catch
Usage: The vacationers were enamored with the charming island and extended their trip so that they could spend more time there.
Article of the Day

The Emirate of Sicily

After the fall of Rome, the island of Sicily passed from the Vandals to the Goths in 493 CE and then to the Byzantines in 535 CE. After two centuries of raiding, the Arabs conquered the island when Euphemius, the commander of the Byzantine fleet, defected. The Emirate of Sicily remained under Islamic rule from 965 to 1060 CE, during which time agriculture, commerce, and arts and sciences were promoted. Who led the Norman conquest of Sicily that ultimately displaced the Arabs? More...
This Day in History

Body of Elizabeth Short—the "Black Dahlia"—Found (1947)

Elizabeth Short was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder that is still unsolved. Nicknamed the "Black Dahlia" by newspapers after her body was recovered in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, Short was found mutilated, her body severed at the waist. The unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to several books and film adaptations, as well as many false confessions and leads in the years since she was killed. From what was the "Black Dahlia" nickname derived? More...
Today's Birthday

Philip Livingston (1716)

Livingston was a successful merchant who became an American revolutionary leader in the protests against the Stamp Act and other British trade restrictions. Although he was not originally an advocate of independence, Livingston signed the Declaration of Independence and remained an active member of the Continental Congress. He was generous with his large fortune and was a supporter of many causes, including the founding of King's College, which later became what university? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Today's Holiday

Carmentalia

It was unusual in ancient Rome for a single deity to have two separate festival days only a few days apart (January 11 and 15), and a number of explanations have been offered for why the second festival in honor of the goddess Carmenta was instituted. The only thing that is certain is that it was primarily women who frequented her temple near the Porta Carmentalis, a gate at the foot of the southern end of the capitol. Carmenta had her own priest, or flamen, whose duties on her festival days were confined to the preparation of offerings of grain or cereal. More...
In the News

Fetal DNA in Mother's Plasma

Until now, the most accurate methods of screening a fetus for potential genetic abnormalities, like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, have involved piercing the womb to obtain samples of fetal tissue-procedures that are not without risk. However, a new, non-invasive procedure that reconstructs the entire genome of a fetus from fragments of fetal DNA found in the mother's plasma may soon allow parents to screen their unborn children for inherited diseases without exposing them to undue risk. More...
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