Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, May 05, 2014)
Word of the Day

materfamilias

Definition:(noun) A female head of a family or tribe.
Synonyms:matriarch
Usage: As materfamilias, my grandmother calls the shots on holidays like Thanksgiving, and no one dares question her.
Article of the Day

Martin Guerre

In the 16th century, a French peasant named Martin Guerre abruptly disappeared after being accused of stealing grain from his father. He moved to Spain and joined the army. He was wounded during a military campaign, and his leg had to be amputated. After spending some time in a monastery, Guerre returned to France, only to discover that an imposter had been living with his family. When faced with the real Martin Guerre, his relatives realized they had been had. What happened to the imposter? More...
This Day in History

Grand Opening of New York City's Carnegie Hall (1891)

Carnegie Hall has long been the most famous concert hall in the US. Admired for its beauty and superb acoustics, it was designed in a Neo-Italian Renaissance style by architect William Burnet Tuthill and was endowed by industrialist Andrew Carnegie at the insistence of conductor Walter Damrosch. Pyotr Tchaikovsky was the guest of honor at its opening. The venue was slated for demolition in the 1950s but was saved by a public outcry. What was it called before it was named after Carnegie in 1893? More...
Today's Birthday

Eugénia María de Montijo de Guzmán (1826)

The daughter of a Spanish noble, Eugénia married Napoleon III in 1853 and became the empress of France. She took an active role in the politics of the Second Empire, acting as regent when her husband was at war. She also encouraged French opposition to a Prussian candidate for the Spanish throne in the controversy that precipitated the Franco-Prussian War. Deposed after Napoleon's defeat and capture, she fled and settled in England. Why was her marriage to Napoleon controversial? More...
Quotation of the Day
The uglier a man's legs are, the better he plays golf—it's almost a law.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

Idiom of the Day

stand on the shoulders of giants

To make discoveries, insights, or progress due to the discoveries or previous work of great minds that have come before. More...
Today's Holiday

Kodomo-no-Hi

Kodomo-no-Hi is a national holiday in Japan that was known as Boys' Day from the 9th century, but became a day for both boys and girls in 1948. Today, the day is observed largely with family picnics. Households with sons erect tall bamboo poles outside the home and attach streamers in the shape of carp for each son. The carp supposedly represents the strength, courage, and determination shown in its upstream journeys. The festivities are part of Golden Week, which also includes Greenery Day and Japan Constitution Memorial Day. More...
In the News

Wrongful Convictions in US Capital Cases Higher than Thought

Capital punishment is a highly controversial topic, and new calculations about the rate of wrongful death sentences in the US are adding fuel to the fire. Using data about US death sentence convictions and exonerations, researchers concluded that about 4 percent of people sentenced to death between 1973 and 2004—some 300 people—were actually innocent, a higher rate than previously thought. While 117 were subsequently exonerated, the majority of those wrongfully sentenced to death were not. More...
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