Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 19, 2013)
Word of the Day

lummox

Definition:(noun) A clumsy or stupid person.
Synonyms:gawk, goon, lout, lubber, oaf, stumblebum, clod, lump
Usage: The beefy lummox blundered through the buffet line, knocking aside countless other patrons in his rush to fill his plate.
Article of the Day

Paternosters

A paternoster is a passenger elevator that consists of a series of doorless compartments suspended on loop of slow-moving chain that continuously advances. Passengers must step on and off the elevator while it is in motion. Introduced in 1884 as the "Cyclic Elevator," it became popular in Europe but eventually fell out of favor due to serious safety concerns. Paternoster is Latin for "our father," another name for the Lord's Prayer. Why are paternosters named after a Christian prayer? 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
Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.

Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC)

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

Cancer Detecting Dogs Sniffing Out Ovarian Cancer

Dogs' sensitive noses have long been used to track down missing people and sniff out bombs. In recent years, researchers have found a new way for man's best friend to live up to its designation—by detecting cancer. Dogs have been found capable of detecting bladder cancer as well as lung cancer, and now researchers are hoping the same will hold true for ovarian cancer. If it does, it will help scientists isolate the chemical marker that indicates the presence of the disease and develop an electronic sensor to detect it, hopefully leading to earlier diagnoses and increased survival rates. More...
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