Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, June 06, 2011)
Word of the Day

hackneyed

Definition:(adjective) Repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse.
Synonyms:banal, old-hat, stock, threadbare, timeworn, trite, well-worn, tired, shopworn, commonplace
Usage: For God's sake do not thrust upon me your hackneyed remarks, repeated to nausea, that "I was only a dreamer," while they even then had an understanding of life.
Article of the Day

The Minaret

Most mosques have one or more towers, called minarets, from which a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer. The earliest building to bear structures specifically built as minarets was Egypt’s Mosque of Amr. Built in 643 CE, it possessed four square towers at its corners. Not all minarets are square, however; there are also octagonal, cylindrical, and conical minarets. Styles vary regionally and by period. How many times does the muezzin issue the call to prayer each day? More...
This Day in History

Joseph Bonaparte Named King of Spain (1808)

The elder brother of Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte served as king of Naples during Napoleon's reign, abolishing feudalism and reorganizing the judicial, financial, and educational systems. He was named king of Spain in 1808, but his reforms there were less successful, and he abdicated in 1813 and returned to France. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Joseph lived in the US and later in Italy. What creature from American folklore was Joseph said to have encountered while in the US? More...
Today's Birthday

Diego Velázquez (1599)

The most celebrated painter of the Spanish school, Velázquez was one of the outstanding artists of the 17th century. His early works were mostly religious or genre scenes. After arriving in Madrid in 1623, he painted a portrait of King Philip IV that won him immediate success and an appointment as court painter. Notable among his portraits is his masterpiece, Las MeninasThe Maids of Honor. Why is there debate about who the true subject of the painting is? More...
Quotation of the Day
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

absolve from guilt

To consider innocent, clear of all suspicion, or pardon from any cause of guilt. More...
Today's Holiday

Swedish Flag Day (2016)

Constitution and Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the Swedish constitution on June 6, 1809, and the ascension of Gustavus I to the throne on June 6, 1523. It is observed throughout Sweden with patriotic meetings, parades, and the raising of flags. In Stockholm, the main celebration takes place at the Stadium, where the Swedish national anthem is sung by a chorus of several thousand voices, and the King awards flags to various schools, sports clubs, and other organizations. In the evening, the celebration continues at Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in Europe. More...
In the News

Bomb Blasts May Cause Brain Damage in Soldiers

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered blast-related traumatic brain injuries, which are generally classified as mild brain injuries or concussions. Special brain scans of just a few of these soldiers, however, reveal abnormalities in regions of the orbitofrontal cortex, an area involved in emotional regulation and decision-making, and the cerebellum, an area linked to coordination, movement, and balance. Further study is needed to determine whether these abnormalities affect brain function or predict later development of post-traumatic stress disorder. More...
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