Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 04, 2011)
Word of the Day

passel

Definition:(noun) (Often followed by "of") a large number or amount or extent.
Synonyms:great deal, hatful, lot, peck, mickle, mint, quite a little, slew, spate, tidy sum, wad, stack, raft, mountain, pile, plenty, mass, batch, heap, deal, flock, pot, mess, sight
Usage: The President faces a passel of domestic issues.
Article of the Day

Vlad III the Impaler: The Original Dracula

Vlad III, son of Prince Vlad Dracul, briefly ruled Wallachia in the mid-15th century. Known as Dracula, meaning "Son of the Dragon" or "Son of the Devil," Vlad lived up to his moniker. He ruled with terrible cruelty, impaling tens of thousands and earning his own nickname—"the Impaler." The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, although not based on Vlad's historical exploits, introduced the name Dracula to a global audience. What other execution methods are said to have been favored by Vlad? More...
This Day in History

The May Fourth Movement (1919)

The May Fourth Movement was the first mass movement in modern Chinese history. It began with about 5,000 university students in Beijing protesting the Versailles Conference's decision to transfer former German concessions in China to Japan. Demonstrations and strikes spread, and a nationwide boycott of Japanese goods followed. The movement began a patriotic outburst of new urban intellectuals against foreign imperialists and warlords and is often cited as the seminal event that led to what? More...
Today's Birthday

Audrey Hepburn (1929)

Hepburn was a Belgian-born film actress who combined elegance with a radiant, elfin innocence. After spending World War II in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, she studied ballet and acting in London and was discovered by French writer Colette, who insisted she play the lead in Gigi on Broadway. She made her US film debut in Roman Holiday, for which she won an Academy Award, and then returned to Broadway and won a Tony Award in Ondine. What was Hepburn's last film? More...
Quotation of the Day
The land of literature is a fairy-land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

have (something) down cold

To learn, master, or understand something perfectly, to the point of requiring little or no focus to do, recall, or accomplish it. More...
Today's Holiday

Cassinga Day

On May 4, 1978, South African forces attacked a SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) base located in the old Angolan mining town of Cassinga. Hundreds of Namibians died during the attack. Namibia eventually won its political independence in 1990 and is currently ruled by the SWAPO party government, and a national holiday is declared every year on the anniversary of the attack to commemorate those who died in their country's struggle for independence. More...
In the News

Neurons Nap in Tired Brains

Researchers say that if a person is sleep deprived, parts of his brain can fall asleep despite the fact that he remains fully awake at the time. Scientists observing the brain activity of rats forced to stay awake for longer periods than usual found that problem-solving brain regions entered a sort of "local sleep" state. During these periods, the rats appeared no less awake than at other times of wakefulness, however, they did have trouble completing challenging tasks. The study authors believe it is likely that the human brain reacts in a similar fashion when sleep deprived. More...
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