Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, April 13, 2012)
Word of the Day

ill-gotten

Definition:(adjective) Obtained illegally or by improper means.
Synonyms:dirty
Usage: There is a proverb which says that ill-gotten gains never prosper, and the Prince found that the stolen ring brought him ill-luck after all.
Article of the Day

Hellenistic Religion

As Greek culture spread into the lands conquered by Alexander the Great, it came into close contact with the civilizations of the Near East and Egypt and was, in turn, influenced by them. Most Greeks continued their traditional religious beliefs, but a small number began to worship other deities, such as Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, and Cybele, the Great Mother Goddess of Phrygia. What new cults and religions arose from the intermingling of cultures? More...
This Day in History

George Frideric Handel's Oratorio Messiah Debuts (1742)

Composed by Handel, the great master of baroque music, Messiah is one of the most popular choral works in the Western world. Its immense popularity has resulted in the erroneous conception of Handel as primarily a church composer. In truth, the contemplative, English-language oratorio stands apart from the rest of his 32 oratorios, which are dramatically conceived. How did it become tradition for audiences to stand during the performance of Messiah's "Hallelujah" chorus? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Mosher Butts (1899)

In the 1930s, Butts, an unemployed architect, invented a game called Lexiko, in which players drew lettered tiles from a pool and then attempted to form words. After unsuccessful attempts to sell the game to board-game makers, Butts sold the rights to entrepreneur James Brunot, who made a few minor adjustments and renamed the game Scrabble. More than 150 million sets have been sold in multiple languages since. How did Butts determine how many tiles of each letter should be included in the game? More...
Quotation of the Day
Art is the most intense mode of Individualism that the world has known.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

dark days

Times of extreme misfortune or difficulty. More...
Today's Holiday

Jefferson's Birthday (2016)

Unique among American presidents, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was not only a statesman but a scholar, linguist, writer, philosopher, political theorist, architect, engineer, and farmer. In the US, he is remembered primarily as the author in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence. A birthday commemoration is held each year at Monticello, Jefferson's home in Virginia, as well as at the Jefferson Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC. More...
In the News

Immune Activity Shifts with Social Status

In monkeys, and possibly even humans, social stress can cause changes to the immune system that leave the individual vulnerable to illness. Researchers found that social rank affected the expression of nearly 1,000 white blood cell genes in female rhesus macaques. This allowed them to predict a monkey's social rank with 80 percent accuracy simply by examining her immune cells. Encouragingly, as rank shifts, gene activity does too, meaning that improvements to one's social environment could lead to improved immune activity. More...
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