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

First Edition of the Los Angeles Times Is Published (1881)

Established in 1881, the Los Angeles Times was purchased and incorporated in 1884 by Harrison Gray Otis. The newspaper prospered and became an influential force in conservative politics in California. Long dominated by the Chandler family, beginning with Otis's son-in-law Harry Chandler, it developed into a model of balanced and comprehensive journalism in the 1960s, with Otis Chandler at the helm, and came to be seen as one of the world's top papers. Why were its offices bombed in 1910? More...
Today's Birthday

Samuel Butler (1835)

Butler was a British novelist and critic. Descended from clergymen, he grappled for years with Christianity and evolution in his writings, first embracing, then rejecting, Charles Darwin's theories. He is best known for his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh. During his lifetime, his reputation rested on the utopian satire Erewhon (1872), which foreshadowed the end of the Victorian illusion of eternal progress. What prediction did Butler make about human evolution? More...
Quotation of the Day
All visible objects ... are but as pasteboard masks.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Idiom of the Day

(not) half the person/man/woman (one) used to be

Having a reduced, diminished, or weakened physique, disposition, conviction, prowess, or mental acuity, as after some action, event, or trauma. Sometimes used in the negative but to the same effect. More...
Today's Holiday

Siaosi Tupou I Day (2016)

King George Tupou I, also known by his Tongan name of King Siaosi Tupou I, was the first king of the Pacific island nation of Tonga. He took on the title on December 4, 1845, and the date is a Tongan national holiday. Tupuo's rule was marked by a number of landmark events. He abolished serfdom and introduced the nation's first written laws. He also opened the country's first parliament and introduced its first constitution. Tonga honors King Tupou I for establishing much about their country, both good and bad, that still distinguishes it today. 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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