Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 01, 2013)
Word of the Day

downcast

Definition:(adjective) Filled with melancholy and despondency.
Synonyms:low-spirited, gloomy, dispirited, blue, depressed, grim
Usage: He walked through the door with a glum, downcast expression, and I knew without asking that the interview had not gone well.
Article of the Day

The Spanish Civil War

From 1936 to 1939, the Spanish Civil War raged as General Francisco Franco's Nationalists overthrew the republican government. Franco's forces were aided by Germany and Italy, who used Spain as a test site for blitzkrieg warfare on the eve of World War II. Fierce and bloody skirmishes characterized the war of attrition, which claimed 500,000 lives. The war's end brought a period of dictatorship that lasted until the mid-1970s. Deemed the first "media war," it was covered by which famous authors? More...
This Day in History

Portuguese Restoration War Begins (1640)

Following the death of Henry, the cardinal-king of Portugal, in 1580, Philip II of Spain assumed control of Portugal by force of arms. The "Spanish captivity" lasted for 60 years. Finally, in 1640, the Portuguese took advantage of Philip IV's preoccupation with a rebellion in Catalonia and revolted. The Portuguese dethroned him and reclaimed independence for Portugal. Undeterred, Philip fought for decades to regain control of Portugal. When did Spain finally recognize Portugal's independence? More...
Today's Birthday

Louis Allen "Lou" Rawls (1933)

Rawls was an American soul, jazz, and blues singer known for his smooth vocal style. He began singing in his church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local Chicago groups. Though he was pronounced dead after a severe car accident in 1958 that left him in a coma for several days, he recovered and went on to enjoy a successful career, winning multiple Grammy Awards and selling more than 40 million records. Who once credited Rawls with having the "silkiest chops in the singing game"? More...
Quotation of the Day
Throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

good God!

An oath expressing surprise, shock, frustration, anger, or annoyance. More...
Today's Holiday

Portugal Restoration of Independence Day (2016)

This public holiday commemorates the restoration of Portugal's independence from Spain on December 1, 1640. Philip II (1527-1598) of Spain assumed control of Portugal in 1580 upon the death of Henry, prince of Portugal, and the "Spanish captivity" lasted for 60 years. Revolution began in Lisbon, and, in 1640, the Portuguese dethroned Philip IV (1605-1665; grandson of Philip II) and reclaimed independence for Portugal. More...
In the News

Northern Darwin's Frog Not the Fittest

During his 19th-century around-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, famed British naturalist Charles Darwin made numerous discoveries that helped him formulate his theories of evolution. One of the creatures he discovered during this voyage, the Darwin's frog, escapes predators by camouflaging itself as a dead leaf. However, this evolutionary advantage was not enough to save it. Researchers suspect that a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis wiped out the northern Darwin's frog species completely and is also killing off large numbers of the southern species. This could be one of only a few known examples of extinction by infection. More...
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