Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, August 13, 2013)
Word of the Day

privation

Definition:(noun) Lack of the basic necessities or comforts of life.
Synonyms:neediness, want
Usage: They endured years of privation during the war and were used to going without.
Article of the Day

Oases

An oasis is a fertile area of desert land that forms when groundwater lies close enough to the surface to form a spring or to be reached by wells, providing it with a permanent supply of fresh water. Oases vary in size from a pond with a group of date palms to the oasis cities of the deserts of Arabia. Because oases allow travelers, most importantly traders, to replenish their food and water supplies, they are of great strategic and economic value. What Nordic country has a so-called oasis? More...
This Day in History

Opha Mae Johnson Becomes First Woman to Enlist in the US Marine Corps (1918)

During World War I, the US Secretary of the Navy decided to allow women to join the Marine Corps Reserve so that they could take over clerical duties being performed at the time by battle-ready Marines who were needed overseas. Johnson, who was 18 at the time, was the first woman to enlist. It would be another 25 years before the Marines began letting women fill non-clerical positions like parachute rigger, mechanic, and cryptographer. What was Johnson's rank? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Hitchcock (1899)

Hitchcock was a six-time Academy Award-nominated English-American filmmaker who directed more than 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades. A master of the suspense thriller, he developed a style that is so distinctive that any filmmaker working in the suspense genre invariably risks comparison to him. He was one of the best known directors of his time, often making humorous cameo appearances in his own films. Hitchcock was also known for his use of MacGuffins, which are what? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is one insuperable obstacle to a belief in ghosts. A ghost never comes naked: he appears either in a winding-sheet or "in his habit as he lived." To believe in him, then, is to believe that not only have the dead the power to make themselves visible after there is nothing left of them, but that the same power inheres in textile fabrics.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

get the knack of

To learn how to do something competently or well after a certain period of practice or development. More...
Today's Holiday

Bud Billiken Day

Bud Billiken is the "patron saint" of Chicago's African-American children. Created in 1923 by Robert S. Abbott, Bud Billiken is a symbol of things as they should be, and his day is primarily a children's event. There is a parade held on the second Saturday in August each year, complete with marching bands, baton twirlers, floats, and units from the Navy, Air Force, and National Guard. The formalities end when the parade reaches Washington Park in the Grand Boulevard area of Chicago, where families have picnics and cookouts. More...
In the News

An Elephant Never Forgets, and Apparently, Neither Does a Dolphin

Elephants apparently have nothing on dolphins when it comes to memory. Research indicates that the marine mammals have the most durable social memories of any non-human species in existence. Even after 20 years of separation, dolphins responded to the whistles of former companions, demonstrating that they recalled these relationships. While elephants are also believed to retain memories for up to 20 years, this has only been demonstrated with members of their families and not mere companions. More...
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