Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, February 16, 2015)
Word of the Day

assuage

Definition:(verb) To make (something burdensome or painful) less intense or severe.
Synonyms:alleviate, relieve, palliate
Usage: Food, however, became scarce, and I often spent the whole day searching in vain for a few acorns to assuage the pangs of hunger.
Article of the Day

Mombasa

Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya, with a population of 900,000. Until the 16th century, Mombasa was a center of the Arab trade in ivory and slaves. The city was visited by Vasco da Gama on his first voyage to India, and it was burned three times by the Portuguese. Today, Mombasa serves as a chief port for Kenya, Uganda, and northeast Tanzania, and its beaches and resorts attract thousands of tourists annually. What tragic series of events happened here on November 28, 2002? More...
This Day in History

Burning of the USS Philadelphia (1804)

The USS Philadelphia was a 36-gun frigate that ran aground in October 1803 while blockading the coast of Tripoli. After some consideration, the Americans decided that the ship was too powerful a weapon to remain in enemy hands and sent a party of soldiers to recapture the ship and burn it. In carrying out "the most bold and daring act of the age," the assaulting party used what ruse to sail up to the ship without arousing the suspicion of its Tripolitan guards? More...
Today's Birthday

Hugo Marie de Vries (1848)

De Vries was a Dutch botanist whose theory of biological mutation and rediscovery of Mendel's laws of heredity made possible the active investigation and universal acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution. He held that new species are formed chiefly through mutations—sudden, unpredictable, inheritable changes in an individual organism. Teaching at the University of Amsterdam, he introduced the experimental study of evolution. What important evolution-related term did he introduce to science? More...
Quotation of the Day
In song and dance man expresses himself as a member of a higher community: he has forgotten how to walk and speak and is on the way toward flying up into the air, dancing.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Idiom of the Day

hair-splittingly

With extremely minute, unimportant, or imperceptible differences or details. (Used before an adjective.) More...
Today's Holiday

Birthday of Kim Jong-Il (2017)

The birth date of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (February 16, 1941-December 17, 2011) is marked with a two-day public holiday observed throughout the country. Large-scale public celebrations—including mass gymnastics displays, musical performances, fireworks, and military demonstrations—are centered in the capital city of Pyongyang. Special horticultural exhibitions feature the Kimjongilia, a flower cultivated to bloom around Kim's birthday. The government also often marks his birthday by allotting North Koreans extra food or electricity. More...
In the News

"Zombie Cat" in Custody Battle

It's the story that won't die. Bart the "zombie cat," who crawled out of his shallow grave last month after being hit by a car and prematurely buried, is now the subject of a custody battle. Bart was supposed to be returned to his owner following jaw and eye surgeries at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Florida, but the organization decided not to release the cat, it said, after learning more about the "circumstances leading up to his burial." In response, the owner filed a legal motion demanding the return of his pet. An animal welfare check at the owner's house did not turn up anything suspicious, but, as of last week, Bart was still under the Humane Society's care. More...
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