Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, April 21, 2011)
Word of the Day

gyrate

Definition:(verb) Revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis.
Synonyms:spin, reel, whirl
Usage: The airplane gyrated about in the sky in a most alarming fashion.
Article of the Day

Nickelodeons

In the early days of motion pictures, screenings were part of vaudeville shows and arcades. However, in 1902, a California shop that showed only moving pictures had great success. Soon, "movie houses" were springing up nationwide. The first movie theater, complete with luxurious accessories and a piano, was built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1905. A nickel was charged for admission, and the theater was called the nickelodeon. In general, how long were the films screened at nickelodeons? More...
This Day in History

Brazilian Patriot Tiradentes Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered (1792)

Born José Joaquim da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes gained his nickname, which means "tooth-puller," working as a healer in his youth. In the late 1780s, he joined and soon became the leader of a revolutionary movement against Portuguese rule in Brazil that was inspired by the American Revolution. In 1789, the movement was betrayed and its leaders were imprisoned. They were freed and exiled in 1792 with the exception of Tiradentes, who was executed in Rio de Janeiro. What was done with his remains? More...
Today's Birthday

Max Weber (1864)

Weber was a German sociologist and political economist whose most famous and controversial work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, examines the relationship between Calvinist—or Puritan—morality, compulsive labor, bureaucracy, and economic success under capitalism. Weber also wrote about social phenomena such as charisma and mysticism, which he saw as antithetical to the modern world and its underlying process of rationalization. What other important works did he write? More...
Quotation of the Day
I'll give you my opinion of the human race in a nutshell...their heart's in the right place, but their head is a thoroughly inefficient organ.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

worthy cause

A cause that merits attention, aid, or action due to an inherent goodness of values or intention. More...
Today's Holiday

Parilia

This ancient Roman festival was held in honor of Pales, the protector of shepherds and their flocks. The Parilia was a pastoral rite observed not only in rural areas but also in Rome, where it coincided with the city's founding in 753 BCE. Although no sacrifices were offered, lustrations (purifying ceremonies) were carried out with fire and smoke. The stables were purified with smoke and swept out with brooms; in rural areas, heaps of straw were set ablaze, and shepherds and their flocks had to pass over them three times. The festival ended with a huge open-air feast. More...
In the News

Parenthood Is Bad for One's Health

New parents, mothers in particular, are often so busy caring for their children that they fail to properly manage their own health. Researchers found that both mothers and fathers exercised less than their child-free counterparts, but while fathers' body mass index (BMI) did not differ from that of men without children, mothers did have a higher BMI than childless women. Mothers also ate less healthfully than women without children, consuming more soda, sugary drinks, saturated fat, and total calories than their childless peers. More...
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