Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, January 23, 2015)
Word of the Day

mollify

Definition:(verb) To calm in temper or feeling; soothe.
Synonyms:appease, assuage, conciliate, pacify, placate
Usage: She was so outraged that nothing her friends said could mollify her anger.
Article of the Day

Conscientious Objectors

A conscientious objector is a person who, due to religious or moral principles, refuses to participate in military service. The concept has been present in different forms since the beginning of the Christian era. Political opposition to conscription, such as that maintained by many during the Vietnam War, is usually considered a separate category. What leader—and noted war hero—said that war will exist until "the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior"? More...
This Day in History

Elva Zona Heaster Discovered Dead (1897)

Shortly after marrying drifter Erasmus Shue, Heaster was found dead and was soon buried. Her mother, who suspected foul play, claimed to have had a vision in which her daughter's ghost stated that Shue had broken her neck, killing her. When the body was exhumed, an autopsy confirmed that Heaster's neck had been broken, and Shue was tried for murder. What role did the ghost—since known as the Greenbrier Ghost for Heaster's hometown of Greenbrier County, West Virginia—play in the trial? More...
Today's Birthday

Édouard Manet (1832)

One of the foremost French artists of the 19th century, Manet is often regarded as the father of modern painting. Rebelling against the academic tradition, he developed a realist style that was one of the founding forces of Impressionism. Although his talent is recognized today, Manet was often greeted with harsh criticism during his career, including for his paintings Le déjeuner sur l'herbeThe Luncheon on the Grass—and Olympia. Why were the paintings controversial? More...
Quotation of the Day
Age, like woman, requires fit surroundings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

close the barn door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. More...
Today's Holiday

Wakakusayama Yaki

This event, held near the Japanese city of Nara, is one of the ancient capital's most thrilling spectacles. It takes place on Mt. Wakakusafireworks are ignited, and at six o'clock in the evening, priests from the temples of Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji set fire to the dry grass on the slopes. The whole mountain turns into a flaming beacon that lights up the night sky and can be seen for miles. The festival commemorates the historic burning of the hill 10 centuries ago during a friendly disagreement about the boundaries of the two major temples and a shrine in Nara. More...
In the News

3D X-Ray Used to Read Charred Vesuvius Scroll

When the Italian town of Herculaneum was destroyed by a blast from Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, it left behind the only classical library still in existence—but in charred and matted scrolls so fragile that they cannot be safely unrolled. Enter 3-D X-ray technology, typically reserved for mammography, which a group of researchers recently used to see inside the scrolls without unrolling them. The team has reported making out some Greek letters using this X-ray technique, which is best at picking out minute differences in similar surfaces. Because some ink never penetrated the papyrus, the letters stand out in relief. More...
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