Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, October 31, 2017)
Word of the Day

despairing

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by or resulting from despair; hopeless.
Synonyms:desperate
Usage: The set-back to their hopes made them despairing and desperate.
Article of the Day

Onsen

A volcanically active country, Japan is home to thousands of geothermally heated hot springs called onsen. Traditionally used as public bathing places, onsen now play a central role in domestic tourism and are often enjoyed by those who want to escape the hectic life of the city, relax, and benefit from the healing powers believed to be derived from the water's mineral content. When discussing onsen, the Japanese often cite the virtues of "naked communion," which refers to what? More...
This Day in History

Leiden University Library Opens in the Netherlands (1587)

The city of Leiden played a prominent role in the revolt that would create an independent Dutch nation. In 1575—a year after Leiden had survived a siege by the Spanish—Prince William the Silent founded a university in the city. Today, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Its library, once housed in a single room, is now home to a monumental collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and letters—some of which are centuries old and very rare. What was the library's first book? More...
Today's Birthday

John Evelyn (1620)

From 1631 until his death in 1706, Evelyn kept a diary that is today an invaluable source of information on 17th-century British social, cultural, and political life. He corresponded frequently with Samuel Pepys, another now-famous diarist of the time. Living as a wealthy country gentleman in Deptford, he wrote about 30 books on various subjects including reforestation, vegetarianism, and numismatics. In 1661, he wrote the Fumifugium, believed to be the first book written on what topic? More...
Quotation of the Day
I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

bragging rights

The authority and freedom to boast or brag of one's achievements that comes from having won a contest or succeeded in some way, especially against a close rival. More...
Today's Holiday

Apple and Candle Night (2017)

This is another name for Halloween among children in the Swansea area of Wales. The traditional game of "Apple and Candle" is played by suspending a stick from the ceiling with an apple fastened to one end and a lit candle to the other. The object is to eat the apple without using hands and without getting burned by the swinging candle. To make the game more challenging, players are sometimes blindfolded and the stick is twirled around before the game begins. More...
In the News

NASA "Twins Study" Shows How Spaceflight Changes Gene Expression

The changes spaceflight induces in astronauts are much more than skin deep. Space travel strongly affects the way genes are expressed, or turned on and off, preliminary results from NASA's "Twins Study" have revealed. "Some of the most exciting things that we've ... More...
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