Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, February 19, 2015)
Word of the Day

portmanteau

Definition:(noun) A large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments.
Synonyms:Gladstone
Usage: With both sides stuffed to capacity, he needed to sit on top of the portmanteau in order to close it.
Article of the Day

The Boll Weevil

The boll weevil is a beetle that feeds on bolls, the seed-bearing capsules of cotton plants. Probably of Mexican or Central American origin, the boll weevil appeared in Texas about 1892, spread to most cotton-growing regions of the US, and eventually became responsible for the destruction of about 8% of the nation's annual cotton crop. Eradication programs begun in 1978 have proven successful in many states. Why did the citizens of Enterprise, Alabama, erect a monument to the pest in 1919? More...
This Day in History

Battle of Iwo Jima Begins (1945)

The island of Iwo Jima is only 8 sq mi (21 sq km) in area, but when US forces attacked the Japanese air base there during WWII, it became the site of one of the most severe campaigns of the war. More than 21,000 Japanese troops and nearly 7,000 Americans died in the clashes. A photograph of US marines raising the American flag over Iwo Jima's Mt. Suribachi has since become one of the most famous images of the war. What was the US operation in Iwo Jima called? More...
Today's Birthday

André Breton (1896)

Breton was a French writer, critic, and editor. In 1919, he helped found the Dadaist review Littérature. Influenced by psychiatry and the Symbolist movement, he wrote poetry using the automatic-writing technique. In 1924, his Manifeste du surréalismeSurrealist Manifesto—provided a definition of Surrealism as "pure psychic automatism." In 1938, he penned the manifesto Pour un art révolutionnaire indépendant with what one-time commander of the Red Army? More...
Quotation of the Day
The days...come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

a free bit of advice

A suggestion, opinion, or piece of advice that was unrequested or unsolicited by the recipient. More...
Today's Holiday

Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin (2016)

On February 19, 1942, Japanese bomber and fighter planes conducted a devastating air raid on the town of Darwin, the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory. As a tribute to honor the dead and those who defended Darwin, an annual commemoration is held in Bicentennial Park by the Cenotaph, a monument to those slain in World War I. At 9:58 AM, the exact time the attack began, a World War II air raid siren sounds. During some observances, Australian regiments will reenact the attack: ground units fire their guns, and fighter planes perform fly-bys over the memorial site. More...
In the News

First Genetically Modified Apple Approved in US

The US Department of Agriculture has approved America's first genetically modified apple—a variety engineered not to turn brown when bruised or sliced. Scientists achieved this effect by turning off a particular gene. Although it will be several years before these apples are sold to the public, they have already sparked a backlash from critics, who say that more human studies should be conducted before genetically modified organisms are widely sold. More...
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