Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 09, 2011)
Word of the Day

quondam

Definition:(adjective) Belonging to some prior time.
Synonyms:erstwhile, one-time, sometime, former, old
Usage: The employers' associations, that had helped the captains of industry to tear and rend labor, were now torn and rent by their quondam allies.
Article of the Day

Nüwa

In Chinese mythology, Nüwa is a figure variously described as a creator deity or a repairer of heaven and Earth, especially after a calamity. Nüwa is said to have created mankind by fashioning individuals out of clay. When the process became too arduous, she began to simply flick bits of clay off the end of a rope. These differing methods of creation have been used to explain the distinction between nobles and commoners. How did Nüwa prevent the sky’s collapse after a pillar supporting it broke? More...
This Day in History

WWII: Bombing of Tokyo Kills 100,000 (1945)

During WWII, Allied bombing devastated half of Tokyo, destroyed or damaged many famous landmarks, and ruined nearly all of the city's industrial plants. In the US firebombing raid that began on March 9, 1945, nearly 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the Japanese capital, killing roughly 100,000 people and destroying about 16 mi² (41 km²) of the city—making it the most destructive conventional bombing raid in history. How did the destruction compare to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? More...
Today's Birthday

Bobby Fischer (1943)

Fischer was a chess legend who, at the age of 15, became the youngest grandmaster in history at that time. In 1970 and 1971, he won an unprecedented 20 straight games to qualify to challenge Boris Spassky for the world championship. He then beat Spassky, becoming the only American world titlist and winning the lion's share of the $250,000 prize fund that was then the largest purse offered in any sport outside boxing. Afterward, Fischer did not publicly play another game of chess until what year? More...
Quotation of the Day
For our vanity is such that we hold our own characters immutable, and we are slow to acknowledge that they have changed, even for the better.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

blood in the water

The exposure of a competitive weakness in an opponent that arouses increased competitive aggression in others. Likened to the literal presence of blood in water that causes aquatic predators (such as sharks) to seek out and attack prey. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of St. Frances of Rome (2016)

St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440) was a model for housewives and widows. Despite the death of her children, her husband's banishment, and the confiscation of their estates, she continued to nurse the sick and care for the poor. St. Frances's feast day is observed on March 9, the date on which she died. Because she is also the patron saint of motorists, it is customary for Italian drivers to flock to the Colosseum in Rome for the blessing of their cars. Crowds also visit Tor de Specchi and Casa degli Esercizi Pii (formerly her home), whose rooms are opened to the public on this day. More...
In the News

Study: Bipolar Disorder Rates Highest in US

According to an 11-nation study of more than 61,000 adults, the US has the highest lifetime rate of bipolar disorder at 4.4%. Overall, the data suggest that 2.4% of the world's population may have some form of the mood disorder, which is usually characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania or hypomania. The study also indicates that less than half of those with the disorder were ever treated by a mental health professional and that only about one-quarter of bipolar patients in low-income countries had any interaction with the mental health system. More...
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