Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, April 29, 2012)
Word of the Day

convolute

Definition:(verb) Practice sophistry; change the meaning of or be vague about in order to mislead or deceive.
Synonyms:pervert, sophisticate, twist
Usage: Her lawyer had warned her that the prosecutor would convolute her testimony and use it to implicate her in the crime, but it still shocked her to see him do it so shamelessly.
Article of the Day

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac is an 1897 play by Edmond Rostand whose title character was inspired by a 17th-century writer with an exceptionally large nose. Rostand's play, written entirely in rhymed couplets, relates the tale of Cyrano, a soldier and poet, who falls in love with the beautiful Roxane. Rather than woo Roxane himself, the large-nosed Cyrano provides his handsome friend, Christian, with the dialogue to win her heart. What word did this play introduce into the English language? More...
This Day in History

WWII: Operation Manna Begins (1945)

During WWII, the Royal Air Force delivered 6,680 tons food into parts of the German-occupied Netherlands, with the acquiescence of the occupying forces, to feed starving Dutch citizens suffering from a famine that ultimately claimed 18,000 lives. Operation Manna, as it was called, was named for the food that the Book of Exodus says miraculously appeared for the Israelites in the wilderness. The mission ended on May 8, when Germany's surrender ended the war in Europe. How was the food delivered? More...
Today's Birthday

John Arbuthnot (1667)

Greatly admired in his time, Arbuthnot was a Scottish scientist, mathematician, and satirist. The court physician to Queen Anne, he is best remembered for his five "John Bull" pamphlets, political satires on the Whig war policy that introduced the character John Bull, a personification of England akin to the American Uncle Sam. With his friends Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay, Arbuthnot was a founding member of the famous Scriblerus Club, an organization devoted to what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Man's desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

in donkeys

In an exceptionally long period of time. The phrase likely originated as the rhyming slang, shortened to simply "donkeys," of "donkey's ears" —where "ears" rhymes with "years" and alludes to the length of a donkey's ears. More...
Today's Holiday

Uesugi Matsuri (2016)

This Japanese festival, held in Yonezawa, commemorates the illustrious warrior Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578). Uesugi Kenshin is also remembered for his role in a series of five battles, fought on a triangular island in the middle of the Matsukawa river, known as the Battles of Kawanakajima. The Uesugi Matsuri commemorates the warrior and his soldiers with mock battles and various costumed events, as well as a Musha Gyoretsu, a parade of warriors of the Sengoku (Warring States) Era. More...
In the News

Evidence of Ancient Tsunami in Northern Greece

Geologists say that they have found evidence to support the ancient Greek historian Herodotus's account of a tsunami that saved a Greek village from Persian invaders in 479 BCE. In his account, Herodotus states that "a great flood-tide of the sea" killed hundreds of Persian soldiers who had besieged the city of Potidaea. He also indicates that many smaller tsunamis had struck there in the past. Sediment in the area where Potidaea once stood shows signs of massive marine events, and excavations of a nearby city have uncovered seashells that were likely deposited there by a tsunami. More...
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