Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 20, 2014)
Word of the Day

ransack

Definition:(verb) To search carefully for plunder; pillage.
Synonyms:foray, reave, rifle, loot, plunder, strip
Usage: My apartment looked like a tornado had torn through it after it was ransacked by a band of thieves.
Article of the Day

Neil Simon

Simon is an American playwright whose popular comedies touch on various aspects of modern middle-class life. Despite being known as a master jokesmith, Simon often tackles serious topics. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers, for example, deals with the painful subject of parental rejection. His many other plays include The Odd Couple and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Many have been adapted into films, and Simon has written numerous screenplays. How did he get his start? More...
This Day in History

The Tennis Court Oath (1789)

In the first days of the French Revolution, the deputies of the Third Estate were locked out of their usual meeting hall at Versailles. Believing that their newly formed National Assembly was to be disbanded, they met at a nearby tennis court and took an oath not separate until a constitution was established for France. The oath was an assertion that power came from the people not the monarch, and their solidarity forced King Louis XVI to concede. Who was the only deputy not to sign the oath? More...
Today's Birthday

Lillian Hellman (1905)

After working as a book reviewer, press agent, and play reader, Hellman began writing plays in the 1930s. Her first major success, The Children's Hour, concerned two schoolteachers falsely accused of lesbianism. She examined family infighting in her hit The Little Foxes and political injustice in Watch on the Rhine. All were made into successful films. Hellman was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. What happened when she refused to testify? More...
Quotation of the Day
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Idiom of the Day

amount to nothing

To result in no tangible or appreciable difference. More...
Today's Holiday

Eritrean Martyrs' Day

Following its defeat of Ethiopian government forces in 1991 to establish national independence, Eritrea instituted an official holiday to pay tribute to those who died for the country's liberation. The struggle, which lasted from 1961 to 1991, claimed the lives of an estimated 65,000 freedom fighters and tens of thousands of civilians. Many Eritreans observe Martyrs' Day by filing into mass mourning processions that conclude at the "Martyrs' Graveyards" located throughout the country. In 1997, the government opened the National Martyrs' Park outside the capital city, Asmara. More...
In the News

Possible Mass Anthrax Exposure at CDC Labs

As many as 75 scientists working in US federal government laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, may have been accidentally exposed to live anthrax bacteria after staff members at a high-level facility failed to follow proper procedures to inactivate the deadly bacteria before sending the samples to lower-level labs for experimentation. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under whose watch the breach occurred, is now investigating the incident and is offering antibiotic treatment and vaccines to those who might have been exposed. More...
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