Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 31, 2012)
Word of the Day

brigand

Definition:(noun) An armed thief who is (usually) a member of a band.
Synonyms:bandit
Usage: You looked more like a brigand than an honest man, with your beard six inches, and your hair a foot long.
Article of the Day

The Gourd

Though the gourd family technically includes cucumbers and watermelons, the name "gourd" is usually applied to fruits with hard, durable shells, such as squash and pumpkins. Colorful and oddly shaped gourds are picked for ornamental use, while others are hollowed out for use as instruments, cooking utensils, lamps, containers, and countless other purposes. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as "nature's pottery." In ancient surgery, gourds had what unusual and important use? More...
This Day in History

The Alhambra Decree Is Issued (1492)

Fourteen years after Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the "Catholic Monarchs" of Spain, established the Spanish Inquisition to discover and punish converted Jews—and later Muslims—who were insincere, they issued the Alhambra Decree, an edict ordering the expulsion of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. Any Jew who did not convert or leave by the deadline faced execution. Non-Jews found sheltering or hiding Jews had all of their belongings seized. When was the edict officially revoked? More...
Today's Birthday

Joseph Haydn (1732)

The principal shaper of the Classical style, Haydn was an Austrian composer who exerted major influence on his contemporaries, including Mozart, and future composers. The first great symphonist, he composed 106 symphonies and virtually invented the string quartet. By his later years, he was recognized internationally as the greatest living composer. He composed important works in almost every genre. What legendary composer was a student of Haydn? More...
Quotation of the Day
Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration ... and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose—as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

concrete jungle

An overcrowded, unsafe and/or crime-ridden urban environment or city, characterized by the congestion of large buildings and roads. More...
Today's Holiday

Transfer Day

On March 31, 1917, the US government formally purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark for the sum of $25 million. The US purchased them primarily for their strategic importance, and they are still considered a vital key to the defense of the Panama Canal Zone and the Caribbean. Transfer Day is usually observed in the islands with a parade and other public festivities. There was a major celebration in 1967, 50 years after the transfer took place, with events that underscored Danish-American friendship and a reenactment of the original transfer ceremony of 1917. More...
In the News

Ibuprofen Could Ward Off Altitude Sickness Symptoms

Air is "thinner" at high altitudes, meaning there is less oxygen in the atmosphere. This can cause a range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and nausea, collectively known as altitude sickness. While certain prescription drugs can help prevent and treat altitude sickness, new research suggests that some people may benefit more from the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen. More...
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