Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, August 19, 2011)
Word of the Day

maltreat

Definition:(verb) To treat badly, cruelly, or inconsiderately.
Synonyms:abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, step
Usage: Despite assurances that no one would maltreat the accused mass murderer in prison, he arrived at his hearing with two black eyes and a swollen lip.
Article of the Day

The Deipnosophistae

Written in the 3rd-century by the Greek writer Athenaeus, the Deipnosophistae professes to be an account of three banquets held at the house of a scholar and wealthy patron of the arts. The work is invaluable for providing information about the Hellenistic leisure class of the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of food and sexuality. In the course of conversation, the banqueters quote about 700 authors, many of them otherwise unrecorded, and discuss the story behind what famous statue? More...
This Day in History

American Outlaw John Wesley Hardin Shot Dead (1895)

Hardin was an American desperado who claimed to have killed 42 men, one of them allegedly for snoring. He became a gambler and a gunman very early in life, but his friends and gunfighting skills helped him evade the authorities until 1877, when he was sentenced to 25 years for killing a sheriff. He studied law in prison and was released after serving 16 years. Pardoned in 1894, he passed the bar exam and began to practice law, but a local constable shot him to death a year later for what reason? More...
Today's Birthday

Madame du Barry (1743)

Madame du Barry was the mistress of Louis XV. She was first the mistress of Jean du Barry, who introduced her into Parisian high society. Admired for her beauty, she joined Louis XV's court in 1769 after a nominal marriage to Jean's brother, a nobleman, qualified her to be Louis's official royal mistress. Though she exercised little political influence, her unpopularity contributed to the decline of the prestige of the crown in the early 1770s. What happened to her during the French Revolution? More...
Quotation of the Day
There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

grasp in the dark

To seek out a solution, meaning, or sense of purpose in a blind, aimless, or uncertain manner. Often used in the progressive tense. More...
Today's Holiday

The Fifteenth of Av (2016)

During the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (dedicated between 521 and 517 BCE), this was a Jewish folk festival in which young women would dress in white and dance in the vineyards, where young bachelors would come to choose their brides. According to the Talmud, the 15th day of Av was the day when members of different tribes were allowed to intermarry. Although in modern times there have been attempts by new settlements in Israel to turn this day into one of music and dancing, the idea doesn't seem to have caught on. The Fifteenth of Av is marked only by a ban on eulogies or fasting. More...
In the News

Dogs Trained to Sniff Out Lung Cancer

Researchers say sniffer dogs can be trained to reliably detect lung cancer in humans. In a recent study, trained dogs identified lung cancer in 71% of affected patients. Previous studies have found that dogs can detect other forms of cancer as well, including skin, bladder, bowel, and breast. It is thought that tumors produce volatile organic compounds that circulate throughout the body and can exit the lungs in a gaseous form, allowing for detection by dogs. Scientists hope that by identifying the chemicals to which the dogs are reacting, they will be able to develop electronic noses for cancer detection. More...
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