Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, April 25, 2013)
Word of the Day

orison

Definition:(noun) Reverent petition to a deity.
Synonyms:petition, prayer
Usage: Jehan go every evening to chapel, and sing there an anthem with verse and orison to Madame the glorious Virgin Mary.
Article of the Day

Simoom

In his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce describes the protagonist's heart as having "withered up like a flower of the desert that feels the simoom coming from afar." A simoom is a strong, dry, dust-laden wind that blows in the deserts of Arabia and North Africa. True to Joyce's simile, a simoom is the epitome of hot and dry—its temperature may exceed 130°F (54°C), and its humidity level may fall below 10 percent. "Simoom" comes from an Arabic word meaning what? More...
This Day in History

La Marseillaise, French National Anthem, Is Composed (1792)

Written and composed by French army officer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792, La Marseillaise was adopted in 1795 as France's first anthem. Although it was then banned by Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, and Napoleon III, it was restored as France's national anthem in 1879. The evocative lyrics and recognizable tune of La Marseillaise have led to its use as a revolutionary anthem and have inspired many pieces of classical music and pop culture. What are some examples? More...
Today's Birthday

Ella Fitzgerald (1917)

After winning an amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater in 1934, Fitzgerald started singing with Chick Webb's big band and soon became its star. She recorded her first hit, "A Tisket-A Tasket," in 1938 and went on to become one of the best-selling vocal recording artists in history and a 14-time Grammy Award winner. In 1960, she made a famous live recording in which she improvised new lyrics to a song after forgetting the original ones. The performance earned her a Grammy. What song was it? More...
Quotation of the Day
Time has laid his healing hand upon the wound when we can look back upon the pain we once fainted under and no bitterness or despair rises in our hearts.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

dirty money

Money that is obtained or earned through illicit or illegal means, especially thievery, bribery, forgery, or money laundering. More...
Today's Holiday

Portugal Liberation Day (2016)

Liberation Day, or Liberty Day, is a public holiday commemorating the military coup on this day in 1974 that removed Marcello Caetano (1906-1980) from power, reflecting the opposition of many Portuguese to their government's military policies and wars in Africa. More...
In the News

Invasive Snails Eating Floridians Out of House and Home, Literally

Several invasive species have made Florida their home, including the Burmese python and the perhaps lesser known but no less destructive giant African land snail. These snails can grow to be as big as rats and even carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can sicken humans. They devour over 500 species of plants and are also particularly fond of stucco, a building material that contains calcium needed for their shells—shells so sharp they have been known to puncture tires. Over 100,000 of the snails have been captured since they were first spotted in Florida in September 2011, but with each snail capable of producing 1,200 eggs a year, the battle is far from over. More...
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