Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, June 05, 2014)
Word of the Day

ignominious

Definition:(adjective) Marked by shame or disgrace.
Synonyms:inglorious, shameful, opprobrious, disgraceful, black
Usage: It was an old fisherman who, with immense difficulty, at last rescued us, and we were towed back in an ignominious fashion to the boat-yard.
Article of the Day

The Mona Lisa

One of the most famous paintings in history, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa can be seen at the Louvre museum in Paris, where it is on permanent display. The work's name was not chosen by the artist; rather, it was derived from a posthumously published biography of da Vinci, which identifies the subject as Lisa, wife of a wealthy Florentine businessman. Still, her identity remains the subject of debate, and theories regarding the owner of the enigmatic smile abound. What are some of them? More...
This Day in History

Denmark Becomes a Constitutional Monarchy (1849)

After a flowering of literature and philosophy in the early 19th century, plans for a liberal, centralized constitution led Danish King Frederick VII to become involved in a war with Prussia over the status of the duchy of Schleswig-Holstein. Denmark was defeated and a new constitution was adopted, ending the absolute monarchy, securing civil rights for citizens, and establishing a bicameral parliament and wide suffrage. How many times has the constitution been rewritten since 1849? More...
Today's Birthday

Pancho Villa (1878)

Villa was a legendary Mexican guerrilla leader. He fought for land reform and joined with revolutionaries against dictator Porfirio Díaz as well as his successor but was forced to flee after breaking ties with Venustiano Carranza, who had assumed power in 1914. Angered by US support for Carranza, Villa raided a New Mexico town in 1916. A US force was sent to apprehend him, but he managed to evade capture. Three years after he was finally pardoned, he was assassinated. What was his real name? More...
Quotation of the Day
...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Idiom of the Day

above the salt

Of or in a position of high standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "below" it. More...
Today's Holiday

World Environment Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated June 5 as World Environment Day in 1972. The date was chosen because it marked the opening day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme. The General Assembly urges countries and organizations to mark this day with activities that educate people about threats to the environment and encourage them to strike a balance between development and concern for Earth's future. More...
In the News

Rabies Still Claims Tens of Thousands of Lives Annually

This may come as a surprise, but rabies still kills an estimated 55,000 people each year. This toll may seem high considering that a vaccine was developed more than a century ago, but the cost of prevention remains relatively high, and so the disease persists in poverty-stricken regions. Each year, more than 15 million people around the globe are treated for exposure to rabies. Experts argue that vaccinating animals is exponentially cheaper than treating people exposed after the fact, yet securing funding for such campaigns remains a challenge. More...
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