Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 03, 2013)
Word of the Day

brattle

Definition:(verb) Make a rattling sound.
Synonyms:clack, clatter
Usage: Whenever I hear my dishes brattle in the cabinet, I know that the train will be passing by shortly.
Article of the Day

Thieves' Cant

Dating to the early 16th century, thieves' cant was a secret language used in the criminal underworld of Great Britain by thieves, beggars, vagrants, and supposedly Gypsies. Beginning in the mid-1500s, numerous "canting dictionaries" were published, and the code words of the thieves' language came to be widely known. Though the argot is almost totally obsolete today, what small group of people was reported in 2009 to have revived thieves' cant for everyday use? More...
This Day in History

March of Dimes Established by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1938)

The March of Dimes is a US charity whose mission is to improve the health of babies. It was founded with the goal of eradicating polio, one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century, during the tenure of President Roosevelt, who himself contracted what was thought to be polio in 1921. The national, nonpartisan organization initially raised funds for research by urging the public to contribute a dime to the effort and came to be called the March of Dimes, but its original name was what? More...
Today's Birthday

Cicero (106 BCE)

Cicero was a statesman, philosopher, unsurpassed master of Latin prose, and one of Rome's greatest orators. His writings introduced the Romans to Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary. He was a prolific author, and his letters reveal a wealth of information about Roman life and politics. As an active politician and leader of the senatorial party, he was at times hailed as a hero, but he also made enemies who contributed to his exile and, later, his execution for what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Quotation, n.: the act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Ball-Catching Festival (Tamaseseri)

This 500-year-old tradition, said to have its roots in the legend of a dragon god (Ryujin) offering two balls to the Empress Jingu (170-269 CE), takes place each year in Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka City, Japan. Two teams of men wearing only loincloths (fundoshi) compete for a ball that weighs about 18 pounds; these teams consist of the Land Team, made up of farmers who work the fields, and the Sea team, composed of fishermen. A Shinto priest awaits the winner to hand him the ball—the size of the harvest or the catch during the New Year is determined by which team wins. More...
In the News

New Tuberculosis Drug Could Be "Game Changer"

Tuberculosis (TB) affects millions of people worldwide. In 2011, nearly 9 million people were infected and 1.4 million died from TB. While the disease can be treated with antibiotics, drug-resistant strains have become increasingly widespread and lethal. Hopefully, a new drug recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will change this. The first FDA-approved drug in 40 years to fight the disease using a new mechanism of action, bedaquiline combats multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by blocking an energy-producing enzyme that is vital to the tuberculosis bacterium's survival. More...
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