Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, July 04, 2012)
Word of the Day

transfigure

Definition:(verb) Change completely the nature or appearance of.
Synonyms:metamorphose, transmogrify
Usage: To you, my friend, she would have appeared a hideous and ugly creature, but to me she was beautiful—so gloriously does love transfigure its object.
Article of the Day

The Book of Thel

The Book of Thel is an illustrated poem published by English author and illustrator William Blake around 1789. It tells the story of a young woman—Thel—who seeks to understand why all things must die. She poses this question to a lily, a cloud, a worm, and a clod of clay. The clod invites Thel to visit the underworld, where she hears questions even more troubling than her own and flees in terror. The relatively short poem is rife with allegory. What might the character of Thel represent? More...
This Day in History

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass Published (1855)

Often considered the most influential volume of poetry in American literature, Whitman's Leaves of Grass was unconventional in both content and technique and initially scandalized the public with its frank celebration of sexuality. The first edition contained 12 poems, including "Song of Myself," in which the author proclaims himself the symbolic representative of common people, but Whitman revised and expanded subsequent editions. How many poems are found in his "deathbed edition"? More...
Today's Birthday

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807)

Garibaldi is considered an Italian national hero for his role in the Risorgimento, the movement to liberate and unify Italy. In 1848, after having spent time in South America learning guerilla warfare tactics, he returned to Italy to fight for its independence. He fought Austria in Milan and France in Rome. In 1860, he raised an army of 1,000 and attacked Sicily. By the end of his campaign, he commanded 30,000 men, with whom he seized Naples, before handing all of southern Italy over to whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC)

Idiom of the Day

go to the mattresses

To enter into or prepare for a lengthy war, battle, or conflict; to adopt a combative or warlike position. While the true origin is uncertain, the phrase was popularized in English by The Godfather novel and films, where it referred to warring mafia families housing their soldiers in small, secure apartments to await orders. More...
Today's Holiday

Fourth of July (Aalborg, Denmark)

The Fourth of July celebration held in Aalborg, Denmark, each year since 1912 was started by Dr. Max Henius of Chicago. He bought 200 acres of land in Rebild and deeded the land to King Christian X, with the stipulation that his fellow Danish Americans be allowed to celebrate the Fourth of July there every year. The area is now a national park, and about 35,000 people come to observe America's Independence Day. A replica of the Liberty Bell is rung, the national anthems of both countries are sung, and there are bilingual readings of the Declaration of Independence. More...
In the News

Cutting the Cost of Shedding Pounds

The costs associated with weight loss are a major burden for the healthcare system, but researchers say expenditures could be minimized if a stepped-care approach were employed. Stepped-care programs begin with a simple, conservative type of treatment and only advance to more complex stages as needed. In a recent study, a weight-loss program that began by encouraging participants to diet and exercise with monthly group sessions and mailings and only escalated to individual counseling and meal replacements for people who failed to lose weight initially was found to be nearly as effective as a standard weight-loss program and was about 42 percent less costly. More...
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