Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 01, 2015)
Word of the Day

balustrade

Definition:(noun) A rail and the row of balusters or posts that support it, as along the front of a gallery.
Synonyms:banister, handrail
Usage: She leaned over the balustrade, trying to see what was happening below.
Article of the Day

Sunflowers

The sunflower is a plant native to the New World and common throughout the US. Its stem can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) tall, and its flower head, commonly having yellow rays, can reach 1 ft (30 cm) in diameter. The sunflower was domesticated around 1000 BCE in the Americas, where the Incas venerated it as an image of their sun god, and it reached Europe in the 16th century. It is valued today for its oil-bearing seeds that can be made into bread. The sunflower is the state flower of what US state? More...
This Day in History

Founding of the Illuminati (1776)

The Illuminati were members of a rationalistic society founded in Germany by Adam Weishaupt. Having close affinities with the Freemasons and seemingly organized on a Masonic plan, the group was briefly very popular among German rationalists but had limited influence. The Roman Catholic Church, which Weishaupt left in his youth and rejoined before his death, condemned the Illuminati. In 1785, the Bavarian government dissolved the organization. What conspiracy theories involve the Illuminati? More...
Today's Birthday

Calamity Jane (1852)

Born Martha Jane Canary, Calamity Jane was a legendary American frontierswoman. She grew up in Montana and worked in mining camps, where she acquired riding and shooting skills. In 1876, she appeared in Deadwood, South Dakota, the site of new gold strikes, boasting of her marksmanship and her exploits as a pony-express rider and as a scout with Custer's forces. It was there that she likely met Wild Bill Hickok, who would become her companion. How did Jane claim to have acquired her nickname? More...
Quotation of the Day
Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

Idiom of the Day

don't get me started

An exclamation of weariness or despair regarding a topic that has just been introduced and about which the speaker feels very strongly and (usually) has a negative opinion of. More...
Today's Holiday

Vappu (2016)

Vappu is a national holiday and celebration of the coming of spring in Finland. This traditional festival is also Labor Day, and factories that are said to "never close" do close on May 1 (and Christmas Day). For students, the "anything goes" celebration begins at midnight on the eve of May Day, called Vapunaatto, when they wear white student caps and indulge in anything not indecent or criminal. There are balloons, streamers, horns, and masks everywhere, and few get much sleep. On May Day itself, the students lead processions through the streets of Helsinki, and then enjoy carnivals and concerts. More...
In the News

Legacy of Agent Orange

As April 30 approaches, marking 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, people in Vietnam with severe mental and physical disabilities still feel the lingering effects of Agent Orange. Respiratory cancer and birth defects amongst both Vietnamese and U.S. ... More...
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