Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 15, 2014)
Word of the Day

instigate

Definition:(verb) Provoke or stir up.
Synonyms:incite
Usage: The violence was instigated by ex-members of the secret police.
Article of the Day

Gioacchino Rossini

Rossini was an Italian composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and piano pieces. The son of musicians, he began composing at age 12 and entered Bologna's conservatory just two years later. Into the genteel atmosphere of lingering 18th-century operatic manners, Rossini brought genuine originality marked by rude wit and humor and a willingness to sacrifice all "rules" of musical and operatic decorum. For what two masterpiece operas is he best known? 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
Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976)

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

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

Amazon Deforestation Climbing Again

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil seems to be on the rise again. Between July 2012 and July 2013, deforestation there was up 29 percent to nearly 2,315 square miles (6,000 sq km). This was the second straight year of increasing deforestation rates there, reversing several years of decline. Still, these numbers remain lower than 2004, the worst year on record for Brazilian Amazon destruction with almost 11,580 square miles (30,000 sq km) cleared. More...
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