Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, September 15, 2013)
Word of the Day

modicum

Definition:(noun) A small, moderate, or token amount.
Synonyms:little, bit, drop, touch, inch, scrap, dash, grain, particle, fragment, atom, pinch, ounce, shred, crumb, tinge, mite, tad, speck, iota
Usage: Her modicum of strength had been exhausted, and she was unable even to move from her position.
Article of the Day

Selective Mutism

Most common in children, selective mutism is a psychological disorder in which a person who is fully capable of speech is silent in certain situations. A child who is talkative at home may not speak at school or around strangers. The refusal to speak is typically associated with social anxiety. One course of treatment is stimulus fading, during which another person is introduced while the child talks to someone with whom he or she is comfortable. What was selective mutism formerly called? More...
This Day in History

Steam Locomotive John Bull Operates for the First Time (1831)

The John Bull is a steam locomotive that ran on the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad built in New Jersey. Retired in 1866, the locomotive was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1885 and became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world in 1981, when it was operated in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of its first use. Though its official name was Stevens, crews began calling it John Bull, and the name eventually stuck. What made them choose that name? More...
Today's Birthday

Dame Agatha Christie (1890)

Christie, a British mystery novelist and playwright known for her detective figures Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, wrote over 75 novels, including Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None. Her books have been translated into 100 languages and have sold over 100 million copies, and her play The Mousetrap, still running after 23,000 performances, holds the record for longest initial run in theatrical history. What prompted Christie's 1926 disappearance? More...
Quotation of the Day
All mankind love a lover.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

harp on the same string

To dwell tediously and repeatedly upon a single subject or topic, especially in complaint. Likened to playing the same note over and over again on a harp. More...
Today's Holiday

Mid-Autumn Festival (2016)

This festival to honor the moon goddess is a national holiday in China and a day celebrated in Asian communities all over the world. Family reunions are traditional on this day. People travel long distances to be together for exchanging presents, feasting, and eating moon cakes, which in their roundness are symbolic of family unity. Some are made of lotus seed paste, some of red bean paste, and some have a duck egg in the center. There are varying versions of the origins of the festival; the most accepted is that the day is a harvest festival at a time when the moon is brightest. More...
In the News

Growing to New Heights

Over the course of the hundred or so years from the 1870s until 1980, European men got an average of 4.3 inches (11 centimeters) taller, reaching an average height of 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm). Contrary to what many expected, during years of great hardship—those spanning both world wars as well as the Great Depression—height gains actually accelerated. Researchers speculate that people's decisions to have fewer children during these periods may have something to do with this, as smaller family size has previously been linked to increasing height. More...
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