Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, October 23, 2014)
Word of the Day

banal

Definition:(adjective) Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite.
Synonyms:stock, threadbare, hackneyed, old-hat, well-worn, tired
Usage: By his twelfth book, his plots had become downright banal.
Article of the Day

Veni Vidi Vici

Before Julius Caesar was made dictator for life, he engaged in a civil war with his rival Pompey. Caesar started the war by crossing the Rubicon River into Italy, reportedly uttering the words Iacta alea est—"the die is cast." Pompey fled and was eventually killed after Caesar pursued him to Egypt. From Egypt, Caesar went to Syria and Pontus, where in 47 BCE he defeated Pharnaces II with such ease that he reported his victory with the words Veni, vidi, vici—meaning what? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Edgehill (1642)

The Battle of Edgehill was the first major engagement of the English Civil War, fought between the Royalist army of King Charles I and the Parliamentarians. The battle ended in a draw, and its inconclusive result prevented either faction from gaining a quick victory in the war, which eventually resulted in the execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth. What did a group of Parliamentarian troops under Faithfull Fortescue do when the Royalists charged them? More...
Today's Birthday

John William "Johnny" Carson (1925)

Two years after a 12-year-old Carson sent away for a magic kit, "The Great Carsoni" gave his first performance. He continued his show business career by working as a radio announcer and television comedy writer and went on to host several television quiz shows from 1955 to 1962. He first appeared on The Tonight Show in 1958. He was permanent host from 1962 to 1992, and his personable demeanor and wry humor made it America's most popular late-night program. How many times was he married? More...
Quotation of the Day
Very notable was his distinction between coarseness and vulgarity, coarseness, revealing something; vulgarity, concealing something.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

have (one's) head in the sand

To refuse to acknowledge or deal with problems, danger, or difficulty, especially in the hopes that they will resolve themselves. The phrase is a reference to ostriches, which were believed (incorrectly) to hide their heads in the ground at the sight of approaching danger. More...
Today's Holiday

Hoshana Rabbah (2016)

Hoshana Rabbah is considered the last possible day on which one can seek forgiveness for the sins of the preceding year. According to Jewish tradition, on Yom Kippur, God seals the Book of Life—and thus each individual's fate for the coming year. But since the Middle Ages, Hoshana Rabbah has been regarded as an extension of the deadline for Divine judgment. According to an old Jewish folk belief, notes fell from Heaven on this day, informing people of how they had been judged. The traditional Yiddish greeting, a gute kvitl, "May you receive a good note," reflects this belief. More...
In the News

Why Some Get SAD

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression most often experienced in winter, when exposure to sunlight is limited. Although the mechanism of the disorder is not entirely understood, researchers are closing in on its causes. Data show that people with SAD have higher evening and nighttime levels of serotonin transporter (SERT) protein during the winter months than do healthy volunteers. SERT carries serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, back into nerve cells where it is not active, so these higher SERT levels could conceivably account for the "winter blues." More...
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