Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, April 21, 2014)
Word of the Day

thwack

Definition:(verb) Deliver a hard blow to.
Synonyms:smack
Usage: Frustrated at being unable to fix it, Dad thwacked the engine, and it started right up.
Article of the Day

Muhammad

According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad received his first divine revelation at the age of 40. The Qur'an, the sacred book of Islam, records many of the revelations Muhammad received as the final prophet of God. Included among Muhammad's fundamental teachings are the ideas that there is one God, that people must in all things submit to Him, and that nations have been punished for rejecting God's prophets. Why are visual depictions of Muhammad generally prohibited in Islam? 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
Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

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

US Gaining Ground in Fight against Hospital-Acquired Infections

The risk of contracting a hospital-acquired infection is dropping in the US, and that is good news, but the statistics are still far from comforting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every 25 patients in the US will pick up an infection at a hospital or similar medical facility. This means that over the course of a year, about 600,000 patients come down with a nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infection. Of them, about 74,000 end up battling more than one. Still, this is significantly down from the 1970s, when an estimated 2.1 million patients a year would develop a hospital-acquired infection, and even from the 1990s, when this number was about 1.7 million. More...
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