Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 04, 2013)
Word of the Day

nonplus

Definition:(verb) To put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do.
Synonyms:bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, baffle, mystify, perplex, puzzle, stupefy, amaze, gravel, vex, pose, stick, beat, get
Usage: He was nonplussed by the sudden announcement that the company where he had worked for the past 20 years was declaring bankruptcy and shutting its doors.
Article of the Day

Shiraz

Shiraz is a southern Iranian city near the extensive ruins of ancient Persepolis—the capital of Persia established by Darius I and plundered by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. In the 18th century, Karim Khan briefly made Shiraz the capital of Persia, adorning it with fine buildings. Shiraz has long been regarded as an economic and cultural center of Iran, famous for its eponymous wine, gardens, carpets, shrines, and mosques, as well as its poets and philosophers. Which poets are buried here? More...
This Day in History

McGurk's Bar Bombing (1971)

One of the first major atrocities of "the Troubles," a period of political violence in Ireland that began in the late 1960s, the bombing of Belfast's predominantly Roman Catholic Tramore Bar—better known as McGurk's—killed 15 people and injured 17. The first major attack on civilians by any of the region's paramilitary organizations, the bombing provoked widespread political and public reaction. After losing both his wife and daughter in the bombing, the bar's owner made what televised request? More...
Today's Birthday

Thomas Carlyle (1795)

Carlyle was a Scottish historian and writer. His adherence to Calvinist values despite his loss of faith in traditional Christianity proved appealing to many Victorians, and he gained notice with his first major work, Sartor, Resartus. Simultaneously factual and fictional, the work forces the reader to confront the problem of where "truth" is to be found and was initially considered bizarre and incomprehensible by some. It had some success in the US, however, where it was admired by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
All visible objects ... are but as pasteboard masks.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Today's Holiday

River Kwai Bridge Week (2015)

River Kwai Bridge Week in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, commemorates World War II's infamous Death Railway and the River Kwai Bridge. Between 1942 and 1945, more than 16,000 Allied prisoners of war and 49,000 Asian laborers were forced by the Japanese to build a railway from Bangkok, Thailand, into Burma (now Myanmar); it is said that one person died for every railway tie on the track. During the week-long festival, the reconstructed bridge (it was bombed during the war) hosts sound-and-light presentations, and there are also historical exhibitions and rides on World War II-era trains. More...
In the News

Study: Oxytocin Alters Social Brain Activity in Autistic Children

Studies on the safety and effectiveness of oxytocin—informally referred to as the "love hormone" due to its role in emotional bonding—in treating autism have had mixed results, but a recent study of autistic children found that it alters activity in parts of the brain involved in social interactions and could enhance social function. Still, the findings are very preliminary, and experts caution parents of autistic children not to attempt to administer oxytocin to their children until more is known about its benefits and potential side effects. More...
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