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

Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the CIA said to be involved? More...
Today's Birthday

Mel Blanc (1908)

One of the most prolific voice actors of all time, Blanc began his career in radio. In 1933, he began to work for a daily radio program, for which he created several voices. In 1937, he joined the cartoon department of Warner Brothers. During his 50-year career, he supplied voices in more than 3,000 animated cartoons for hundreds of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Woody Woodpecker. What nod to Blanc's career is inscribed on his tombstone? 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

be kicked upstairs

To be promoted to a higher role or position in a company that has little actual responsibility or authority. More...
Today's Holiday

Kaamatan Festival (2017)

Kaamatan is a festival and public holiday in the state of Sabah in Malaysia. The festival is celebrated by the Kadazandusun people, the largest indigenous ethnic group in Sabah. Irrigated rice is their principal crop, and the harvest is a ritual dedicated to the Bambaazon, or rice spirit. If the harvest has been good, this is a thanksgiving; if it has been poor, the ritual is an appeasement of the spirit. This festival is celebrated during the month of May with carnivals, special exhibits, sports competitions, and a regatta, all leading up to the harvest rituals on May 30-31 in Penampang. 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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