Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, July 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

abridge

Definition:(verb) Reduce in scope while retaining essential elements.
Synonyms:abbreviate, shorten, contract, reduce, cut
Usage: I write with so much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an underground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this narrative.
Article of the Day

EURion Constellation

The EURion constellation is a pattern of five small yellow, green, or orange circles repeated across areas of a banknote. The technical details of the EURion constellation are top secret, but it is known to help software programs detect a banknote in a digital image so that users cannot produce counterfeit bills. Some programs not only abort attempts to access images of banknotes but also direct the user to a website about counterfeiting laws. What currencies feature the EURion constellation? More...
This Day in History

Saddam Hussein Becomes President of Iraq (1979)

Hussein was president of Iraq from 1979 to 2003. He joined Iraq's Ba'th Party in 1957 and fled to Egypt after participating in a failed attempt to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister in 1959. He returned to Iraq when the Ba'thists gained power in 1963 but was jailed when they were overthrown. He escaped and helped reinstall the party in 1968. A decade later, he took over the presidency with the aim of replacing Egypt as leader of the Arab world. How many wars did Iraq fight during his tenure? More...
Today's Birthday

Saint Clare of Assisi (1194)

Born to a noble family, Chiara Offreduccio, now St. Clare of Assisi, was deeply influenced by fellow Assisian St. Francis. Refusing to marry, she instead fled to a chapel where he received her vows. She later became abbess of a female religious community that included her sister and mother. The Second Order of St. Francis, or Poor Clares, adopted the absolute poverty of St. Francis but was strictly cloistered, unlike its counterpart, the Franciscans. Why is Clare the patron saint of television? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Idiom of the Day

good graces

Favorable, kindly, or approving regard or treatment. Usually used in the phrase "in someone's good graces" or some variation thereof. More...
Today's Holiday

Nuestra Señora de Itatí

The town of Itatí is situated on the banks of Argentina's Paraná River. Two days before the well-known festival of Neustra Señora de Itatí, which is held on July 16, thousands of pilgrims begin to arrive from San Luis de Palmar in a seemingly endless procession of people on horseback, in carts, and on foot; festival goers arrive from all over Argentina as well. Worship services take place on the 16th in the huge basilica that guards the copper statue of the Virgin, which is more than 24 feet high. Pilgrims even ascend up into the statue until their heads reach the Virgin's crown. More...
In the News

Gene Therapy Helps Kids with Rare Diseases

Researchers have used pioneering gene therapy techniques to treat two different genetic diseases, one that causes progressive paralysis and mental regression and another that leaves patients vulnerable to infections, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and excessive bleeding. In all, six children—three with metachromatic leukodystrophy and three with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome—received the life-altering treatment, which involved "infecting" their bone marrow cells with viruses modified to carry healthy versions of the defective genes. It has been three years since the trials began, and so far, the treatment appears to have been effective. More...
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