Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 23, 2014)
Word of the Day

mawkish

Definition:(adjective) Excessively and objectionably sentimental.
Synonyms:bathetic, hokey, maudlin, schmaltzy, sentimental, mushy, drippy
Usage: His pathos is often exaggerated until it passes into mawkish sentimentality.
Article of the Day

Persephone

In Greek mythology, Persephone is the goddess of fertility and, having been taken captive by Hades and made his wife, queen of the underworld. Though Hades eventually allowed her to return to Earth, he first tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds—the food of the dead—thus tethering her to the underworld and making it necessary for her to return to him for several months each year. What changes are said to come over the Earth each time she leaves for or returns from the underworld? More...
This Day in History

Girolamo Savonarola Executed for Heresy (1498)

Savonarola was an Italian preacher and religious reformer. After the overthrow of the Medici family, he became the ruler of Florence, setting up a democratic but severely puritanical government. He was opposed by the allies of the Medici and by Pope Alexander VI, who attempted to restrain Savonarola's unusual interpretations of scripture and his claim of prophecy. He was tried, convicted of heresy, and hanged. His government was known for its "bonfire of the vanities," which was what? More...
Today's Birthday

Artie Shaw (1910)

Considered one of swing's two great clarinetists—along with his rival, Benny Goodman—Shaw was a virtuoso at his instrument. He began playing professionally as a teen before becoming leader of one of the most popular big bands of the swing era. In 1935, he performed with a string quartet that he later expanded into a more conventional dance band. He led a US Navy band during World War II and various ensembles later on, retiring in 1954. How many times was Shaw married? More...
Quotation of the Day
The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

fork over the dough

To pay, generally unwillingly, a certain amount of money. More...
Today's Holiday

Declaration of the Bab

Declaration of the Bab is a joyous Baha'i festival to celebrate the Bab's announcement in 1844 in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), that he was the "gate" (which is the meaning of Bab) to the coming of the promised one of all religions. This proclamation is considered the beginning of the Baha'i faith, although the religion was founded after the Bab's death. This day is holy to Baha'is and a day on which work is suspended. Its observation begins at about two hours after sunset on May 22. More...
In the News

Thai Army Declares Coup

The Thai military's imposition of martial law in order to "preserve order and bring back peacefulness" has officially evolved into a full-blown coup. After gathering government and opposition leaders for talks, Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced to the assembled leaders—and shortly thereafter in a televised address to the nation—that he would be taking power, marking the country's 12th successful coup since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. The constitution has been suspended and nighttime curfews put in place. More...
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