Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, May 30, 2011)
Word of the Day

commiserate

Definition:(verb) To feel or express sympathy or compassion.
Synonyms:sympathize
Usage: Several friends called to commiserate when they found out that I had not gotten the job, and this comforted me somewhat.
Article of the Day

The Brazen Bull

The brazen bull is a torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece by Perillos, a brass-founder, for Phalaris, the cruel tyrant of Agrigentum, Sicily, who ruled from about 570 to 554 BCE. Perillos cast a hollow brass bull that had a door on its side, allowing the condemned to be placed inside it. A fire lit beneath the bull would roast the victim alive. The device was designed so that the victim’s screams would sound like the bellowing of a bull. Who, ironically, was its first victim? More...
This Day in History

Old West Outlaw Pearl Hart Robs a Stagecoach (1899)

Hart was an American outlaw whose notoriety stemmed primarily from the fact that she was female. Her early life was fairly ordinary. She grew up wealthy and eloped at 16. In 1893, after seeing Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, she left her abusive husband and went west, where she acquired a taste for cigars, liquor, and morphine. In 1899, she helped rob a stagecoach, making away with over $400. She was apprehended, escaped, was recaptured, and then tried for her crimes. Why was she later pardoned? More...
Today's Birthday

René Barrientos (1919)

Barrientos was elected vice president of Bolivia in 1964, but he soon broke with the president and joined other army officers in a coup. He was installed as head of a military junta and became the sole president after winning the 1966 elections. He launched a moderate—albeit military—administration, retaining the reforms instituted by his predecessors. Three years later, he died in a helicopter crash. Why did he once jump out of an airplane with a parachute that had earlier failed to open? More...
Quotation of the Day
We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

get-rich-quick

(used as a modifier before a noun) Of or characterized by generating a large sum of money quickly and (typically) without requiring much effort or energy. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc (2016)

The second patron saint of France and one of the best known of all the saints, Joan of Arc was a young, pious peasant girl from the village of Domrémy. In 1428, she heard voices she identified as St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret telling her to help the dauphin, Charles VII, recover his kingdom from the British. Her mission was accomplished within 15 months, but Joan was captured by the king's enemies, tried for witchcraft and heresy, and burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431. More...
In the News

Supercomputer to Sort Symptoms, Suggest Diagnosis

Watson, the supercomputer that defeated the world's best "Jeopardy!" players—Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter—on TV earlier this year, is now being modified for medical use. As the field of medicine becomes more advanced, it becomes increasingly difficult for doctors to wade through the vast quantities of medical information. It is hoped that Watson, whose processing power is equal to that of 2,800 "powerful computers," will be able to analyze patients' symptoms and medical histories and help doctors make diagnoses and devise individualized treatment plans. More...
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