Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 20, 2013)
Word of the Day

beatific

Definition:(adjective) Marked by utter benignity; resembling or befitting an angel or saint.
Synonyms:angelic, saintly
Usage: As I focused on her beatific smile, I found my anxiety lifting, and in its place there was utter calm.
Article of the Day

Fakir

As wandering religious devotees who embrace poverty and asceticism, Muslim fakirs are similar to the mendicant friars of the Christian tradition. They belong to brotherhoods of Sufi mystics. New disciples are typically bound to an individual teacher and follow an extensive initiation regimen that might include seclusion, sleep deprivation, and fasting. Often regarded as holy men with miraculous powers, fakirs subsist on alms. Whom did Winston Churchill once accuse of posing as a fakir? More...
This Day in History

The Barber of Seville's Disastrous Debut (1816)

In 1816, Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini produced The Barber of Seville, based on the comedy by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais. Though Rossini created much of the opera's music in just weeks, it resounds with his brilliant arias, ensemble numbers, and famous crescendos. Still, several on-stage accidents and constant jeers from the audience, likely spurred by supporters of one of Rossini's rivals, made its debut in Rome a disaster. What happened during the second performance? More...
Today's Birthday

Kurt Cobain (1967)

Cobain formed the rock trio Nirvana in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, in 1986. The group's second album, Nevermind, featured the iconic hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and was the first punk-oriented album to achieve popularity with a mainstream audience. However, Cobain railed against his fame in Nirvana's next album, In Utero. Known for his self-destructive behavior and heroin use, he committed suicide in 1994. What tribute to Cobain is featured on a sign in his hometown? More...
Quotation of the Day
Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

funny feeling

An intuition or premonition about something; a sense of foreknowledge about a situation, condition, or set of circumstances. More...
Today's Holiday

Second Week of Lent

It wasn't until the 9th century that the Lenten season, called the Great Lent in the East to differentiate it from the Advent fast called Little Lent, was fixed at 40 days (with Sundays omitted). For centuries, the Lenten season has been observed with certain periods of strict fasting, as well as giving up something—a favorite food or other worldly pleasure—for the 40 days of Lent. Celebrations such as Carnival and Mardi Gras offered Christians their last opportunities to indulge before the rigorous Lenten restrictions. More...
In the News

Security Company Says Chinese Military Behind Hacking

A US computer security company is alleging that a Chinese military unit—Unit 61398—is one of the world's "most prolific cyber espionage groups" and is responsible for stealing hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations around the globe. In a 74-page report, Mandiant details its findings regarding a group it has dubbed APT1, or Advanced Persistent Threat 1, which has engaged in a sweeping campaign of cyber espionage since at least 2006. The company claims that it has traced APT1's activities to a building in China occupied by Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army. China denies the accusations. More...
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