Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, June 19, 2013)
Word of the Day

merriment

Definition:(noun) High-spirited fun and enjoyment; hilarity.
Synonyms:fun, playfulness
Usage: All merriment was now at an end, and the subsequent discourse consisted only of grave relations of matters of fact.
Article of the Day

Rock Climbing

In rock climbing, participants scale natural rock formations or artificial rock walls using ropes and special equipment—or, sometimes, just their hands and feet. Though humans have been rock climbing for millennia, the activity emerged as a sport in the 19th century. Aid climbing, in which artificial handholds and footholds are used, allowed climbers to reach heights that once seemed inaccessible. Today, the sport continues to evolve. What are some of the ethical considerations of rock climbing? More...
This Day in History

The First Father's Day (1910)

Father's Day is a day set apart in many countries for honoring fathers. In the US, UK, and Canada, it is observed on the third Sunday in June. The idea for a father's day originated when Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, heard a sermon on Mother's Day in 1909 and was inspired to create a date to honor fathers like her own, a Civil War veteran. Through her efforts, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane in 1910. When was the holiday made official in the US? More...
Today's Birthday

Blaise Pascal (1623)

Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. A child prodigy, he earned the envy of René Descartes with an essay he wrote on conic sections when he was still a teen. Credited with founding the modern theory of probability and advancing differential calculus, he also made important contributions to physics, notably in the study of atmospheric pressure. Why did he later abandon his scientific work to focus on theology and philosophy? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

Idiom of the Day

all sizzle and no steak

Disappointing or anticlimactic. Having an exciting, promising, important, or aggrandizing buildup that proves to be unwarranted. More...
Today's Holiday

Fyr Bal Fest (2016)

The Fyr Bal Fest held every year in Ephraim, Wisconsin, reflects the town's Swedish and Norwegian heritage by incorporating customs traditionally associated with Scandinavian Midsummer celebrations. The festival is presided over by a "Viking chieftain," chosen on the basis of his contributions to the community. After a coronation ceremony, he proclaims the official opening of summer and lights a bonfire in which an effigy of the Winter Witch is burned. Other traditional Scandinavian events at the festival include folk dancing and welcome mats in doorways made out of evergreen boughs. More...
In the News

Elizabethan Audiences Entertained by Kidnapped Kids Forced on Stage

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I saw a brilliant flourishing of the arts, and while this is generally seen as a positive development, some troubling information has emerged that casts a pall on the theatrical community of the day. Some of the child actors performing on the Elizabethan stage were actually victims of legal kidnapping, taken by theater owners exploiting a privilege granted to them by the queen, which allowed them to forcibly recruit children for their troupes. As if being ripped from their families were not bad enough, these children were also subject to cruelty, violence, and sexual exploitation. More...
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