Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, August 19, 2012)
Word of the Day

counterbalance

Definition:(verb) Oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions.
Synonyms:countervail, neutralize, counteract
Usage: That gentleman grew every day fonder of little Tommy, as if he intended to counterbalance his severity to the father with … affection towards the son.
Article of the Day

Chanakya, the Indian Machiavelli

Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, was a Hindu statesman and philosopher who wrote a classic treatise on politics, Arthashastra, or The Science of Material Gain. Often compared to Machiavelli, Chanakya wrote the book as a guide for the Maurya emperor, Chandragupta. An astute advisor, Chanakya is considered one of the architects of the Mauryan Empire, which began in the 4th century BCE. According to legend, Chanakya accidentally killed the emperor's wife, but then saved his son—how? 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
It is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

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

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

Antipsychotic Use Up in American Youth

Since the 1990s, the use of antipsychotic drugs has grown dramatically in the US, particularly among children and teens. Nearly a third of youth visits to psychiatrists now involve antipsychotic medications, which are being increasingly prescribed for off-label use. This means that the drugs are being prescribed to treat conditions for which they have not received approval by a regulatory agency. Between 2005 and 2009, about 90 percent of the antipsychotic prescriptions written for those under the age of 21 were off-label. More...
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