Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, August 28, 2016)
Word of the Day

solecism

Definition:(noun) A socially awkward or tactless act.
Synonyms:faux pas, gaffe, slip, gaucherie
Usage: She smiled again, turned, and walked away, leaving George to reckon up all the social solecisms he had contrived to commit in the space of a single moment.
Article of the Day

Carnivorous Plants

Usually found in places with thin or nutrient-poor soil, carnivorous plants derive some or most of their sustenance by attracting, trapping, and digesting insects, small animals, and protozoans. Though there are hundreds of species of carnivorous plants, they all attract and trap prey using any of 5 basic mechanisms: pitfall traps, flypaper traps, snap traps, bladder traps, and lobster-pot traps. Just two species are classified as “active” snap traps; one is the Venus flytrap, what is the other? More...
This Day in History

Caleb Davis Bradham Begins Selling "Pepsi-Cola" (1898)

Bradham was a pharmacist who invented a soft drink made with kola nut extract, vanilla, and "rare oils." He believed his drink aided digestion and renamed it "Pepsi-Cola" after the kola nut and pepsin, an enzyme that aids in digestion. In 1902, he incorporated the Pepsi-Cola Co, and, in 1931, the trademark and assets were bought by Charles Guth, who improved the formula and marketed a 12-ounce bottle for five cents with huge success. What did Bradham originally call his drink? More...
Today's Birthday

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749)

Goethe was a German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist whose dramatic poem Faust is considered one of the world's greatest poetic and philosophic creations. In it, he represents Faust, the legendary scholar who sold his soul to the devil, tragically, as a singularly modern figure who is condemned to remain unsatisfied by life. In his later years, Goethe was celebrated as a sage and visited by world luminaries. Goethe wrote which of his novels while suicidal over an unrequited love? More...
Quotation of the Day
There are two good things in life, freedom of thought and freedom of action.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

half-pint

Any small, weak, and/or insignificant person. Alludes to a pint, a unit of liquid measurement. More...
Today's Holiday

Plague Sunday (2016)

When the plague reached the village of Eyam, Derbyshire, England, in 1665, about three-fifths of the town's population was wiped out. But under the leadership of Vicar William Mompesson, the villagers voluntarily isolated themselves from other villages in the parish. Every year on the last Sunday in August, a procession of clergy, standard bearers, choir members, and musicians forms at Eyam's parish church and proceeds up the road leading toward a place up in the hills known as Cucklet Dell. A simple sermon pays tribute to the plague victims and the 74 villagers who survived. More...
In the News

Are Some People Hard-Wired for Coffee?

Some people drink a cup of coffee in the morning and they're fine for the day. Others seem to need fixes all day long. Now researchers think they know why. They found mutations in a gene that correlate very well with how much coffee a person drinks ... More...
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