Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 02, 2013)
Word of the Day

spiteful

Definition:(adjective) Showing malicious ill will and a desire to hurt; motivated by spite.
Synonyms:vindictive
Usage: In light of Mr. Smith's spiteful and callous regard for his victims, Judge Davis sentenced him to life in prison.
Article of the Day

Defining the Meter

Adopted in France in the late 18th century, the meter is used today by much of the technologically developed world, making it an extremely successful example of both standardization and cooperation. However, the definition of the meter has changed several times. It was originally based, somewhat impractically, on a fraction of the Earth's circumference and was later defined as the distance between two scratches on a bar of platinum-iridium alloy. What is the most recent definition of the meter? More...
This Day in History

Charles the Good Is Assassinated (1127)

As count of Flanders from 1119 until his death, Charles the Good strove to help the poor, distributing bread in times of famine and working to ensure that grain was sold to them at a fair price. Angered by this policy, one influential family had Charles hacked to death while in church. The popular count's brutal murder provoked public outrage, and though he was not formally beatified until the 19th century, he was almost immediately regarded popularly as a martyr. What became of his murderers? More...
Today's Birthday

Sholem Aleichem (1859)

One of the great Yiddish writers, Aleichem is best known for his humorous tales of life among the poverty-ridden and oppressed Russian Jews of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His works include five novels, many plays, and some 300 short stories. In the last years of his life, Aleichem lived in the US and died in New York City, where, through his work, he helped to found the Yiddish Art Theater. Many of his works have been adapted for the stage, most notably what musical? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

backpedal

To quickly and often abruptly reverse or retreat from one's position or opinion on a given subject. Refers to pedaling backwards on a bicycle (done to apply the brakes on fixed-gear bikes), or to taking quick, backward steps, as in football or boxing. More...
Today's Holiday

Texas Independence Day (2016)

A legal holiday in Texas, March 2 commemorates both the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos held on this day in 1836, when delegates prepared for the separation of Texas from Mexico, and the birthday of Sam Houston (1793-1863), who led the Texans to victory over the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas is the only state to celebrate independence from a country other than England. This period in Texas history, beginning with the Washington-on-the-Brazos convention and ending with Sam Houston's victory at San Jacinto, is celebrated each year during "Texas Week." More...
In the News

Research Links Five Psychiatric Disorders

What do autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia have in common? Apparently, they all share common genetic risk factors. A study of 61,000 people found four genetic variants that appear to increase the risk of all five disorders. There are likely hundreds of other genes that play a role in the development of psychiatric disorders, and identifying them could advance the ways we diagnose and treat mental illness. More...
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