Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, May 13, 2014)
Word of the Day

copious

Definition:(adjective) Yielding or containing plenty; affording ample supply.
Synonyms:plenteous, ample, rich
Usage: I brought copious provisions for our camping trip, so even if we don't catch any fish, we'll have plenty to eat.
Article of the Day

The Breakers

Built to serve as the summer home of American socialite and businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the Breakers is a 70-room mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. The home was constructed in the 1890s at a cost of more than $12 million and is deemed the archetype of the Gilded Age, during which socially ambitious Americans sought to imitate the European aristocracy. Today, it is Rhode Island's most visited attraction. Why did Vanderbilt insist that wood not be used in the Breakers' construction? More...
This Day in History

Lei Áurea: Slavery Abolished in Brazil (1888)

By the 1870s, the plantation culture of northeast Brazil was already crumbling, and the growth of the movement to abolish slavery threatened it even more. The slave trade had been abolished in 1850, and a law for gradual emancipation was passed in 1871. In 1888, while Pedro II was in Europe and his daughter Isabel was governing, slavery was completely abolished—making Brazil the last Western nation to do so. The law that officially abolished slavery was called Lei Áurea, which means what? More...
Today's Birthday

Beatrice "Bea" Arthur (1922)

Arthur was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose lengthy career began on the stage. In 1966, she won a Tony award for her role in the musical Mame. She went on to achieve fame on television as the character Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family and Maude and as Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, winning Emmy Awards for both roles. Arthur appeared in what notoriously poorly received 1978 holiday TV special? More...
Quotation of the Day
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Idiom of the Day

fair-weather fan

A person who is supportive of and enthusiastic about a sports team only when that team is performing well. More...
Today's Holiday

Lemuralia

In ancient Rome, the lemures were the ghosts of the family's dead, who were considered to be troublesome and therefore had to be exorcized on a regular basis. The Lemuralia, or Lemuria, was a yearly festival held on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May to get rid of the lemures. Participants walked barefoot, cleansed their hands three times, and threw black beans behind them nine times to appease the spirits of the dead. On the third day of the festival, a merchants' festival was held to ensure a prosperous year for business. More...
In the News

"Nagged to Death" Not Just a Figure of Speech

Frequent arguments with your partner, children, friends, or other relatives could be taking years off your life. Research shows an association between stressful social relations and increased mortality risk. Men appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of this sort of stress than women. The effects are also stronger in those who are unemployed. The findings are not all that surprising given that stress is known to have physiological effects that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but they may cause us to think twice the next time we find ourselves on the verge of nagging a loved one over some minor matter. More...
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