Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 11, 2016)
Word of the Day

philippic

Definition:(noun) A verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language; a tirade.
Synonyms:tirade, broadside
Usage: Ferrars looked exceedingly angry, and drawing herself up more stiffly than ever, pronounced in retort a bitter philippic.
Article of the Day

Automats

An automat is a fast food restaurant where food and drinks are served by coin- and bill-operated vending machines. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first automat in the US in 1902 and quickly popularized the notion of take-out food with their slogan “Less work for Mother.” The original automat machines, which had little windows containing the prepared meals, were filled from behind by workers who cooked the fresh food in an unseen kitchen. What led to the decline of automat dining? More...
This Day in History

The Great Blizzard of '88 Begins (1888)

The Great Blizzard of '88 was one of the most severe blizzards in US history. Snowfalls of 40 to 50 in (102 to 127 cm) fell in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and snowdrifts exceeded 50 ft (15 m) in some places. Railroads were shut down, and people were confined to their houses for up to a week. More than 400 people died from the storm and the ensuing cold, including 200 in New York City alone. What infrastructure changes were made in the aftermath of the storm? More...
Today's Birthday

Marius Ivanovich Petipa (1822)

The principal creator of the modern classical ballet, Petipa was a French-born Russian dancer and choreographer. He received early training from his ballet-master father and was a dancer in France, Belgium, and Spain before joining the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg, where he created several ballets and became chief choreographer in 1869. By his retirement in 1903, he had produced more than 60 ballets for the imperial theatres in St. Petersburg and Moscow, including what performances? More...
Quotation of the Day
To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Idiom of the Day

bored to tears

Extremely bored to the point of distraction, frustration, or irritation. More...
Today's Holiday

King's Birthday (Denmark) (2016)

Though no longer observed, the birthday of Frederick IX of Denmark (1899-1972) was a national holiday in that country, marked by patriotic speeches and parades. Soldiers in uniform would march down the main street of Copenhagen, the capital, accompanied by military bands. This was also an occasion for singing Denmark's two national anthems, "Kong Kristian Stod Ved Hojen Mast" ("King Kristian Stood Beside the Lofty Mast") and "Der Er Et Yndigt Land" ("This Is a Lovely Land"). Frederick IX became king of Denmark in 1947 and ruled until his death in 1972. More...
In the News

This Animal Tears Its Face Off to Open Its Mouth

There's a small, tentacled freshwater animal called a hydra, whose mouth disappears every time it closes. I really mean that: it disappears. When your mouth closes, the two halves are still distinct. No matter how tightly you purse your lips together ... More...
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