Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, September 27, 2011)
Word of the Day

nipper

Definition:(noun) A young person of either sex.
Synonyms:kid, minor, child, tiddler, youngster, nestling, shaver, small fry, tyke
Usage: I could not have been much more than a nipper when you last saw me, but now I am all grown up.
Article of the Day

The Sikha

The sikha is a long tuft or lock of hair left on the top or back of the shaven head of an orthodox Hindu male. During childhood, many Hindu boys have their heads shaved in a special ritual. Sometimes, a lock of hair is left at the crown and allowed to grow throughout the man's life. Although traditionally all Hindus were required to wear a sikha, today it is seen mainly among ascetic monks. The sikha signifies one-pointed spiritual purpose and is always knotted, except under what circumstances? More...
This Day in History

Pope Urban VII Dies Just 13 Days into Papacy (1590)

Urban VII was chosen to succeed Sixtus V as pope on September 15, 1590. His death from malaria 13 days later made his the shortest papal reign in history. His very short time as pope nevertheless gave rise to the world's first known public smoking ban when he threatened to excommunicate anyone who "took tobacco in the porchway of or inside a church, whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe, or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose." Who succeeded him? More...
Today's Birthday

Grazia Deledda (1871)

Influenced by the verismo—"realism"—school, Nobel Prize-winning Italian novelist Grazia Deledda wrote her first stories while just a teen and was still having her works published after her death. Her work is lyric and in part naturalistic and combines sympathy and humor with occasional touches of violence. In her approximately 40 novels, the ancient ways of her native Sardinia often come into conflict with modern mores. What are her most famous works? More...
Quotation of the Day
I believe, my dears, that I am the proudest story-teller that ever lived...To have pleased you, to have interested you, to have won your friendship, and perhaps your love, through my stories, is to my mind as great an achievement as to become President of the United States.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Idiom of the Day

have a (good/solid/sound/etc.) grasp of/on (something)

To have a firm, clear understanding or determination of something. More...
Today's Holiday

Maskal

Maskal is a Christian festival in Ethiopia to commemorate what is believed to have been the finding of the True Cross, the cross on which Christ was crucified. In communities throughout the nation, a tall pole called a demara is set up and topped with a cross. Families place smaller demaras against the big one, and in the evening they are made into a huge bonfire. Religious ceremonies are performed around the bonfire, with songs and dancing. The ashes of the burned-out fire are considered holy, and the people place the powder of the ashes on their foreheads. More...
In the News

Saudi Women Given Right to Vote

Though women in Saudi Arabia are still not allowed to drive and still may not travel or work without permission from a male relative, they will be allowed to vote, join the unelected advisory Shu ra Council, and stand in municipal elections. The change will not go into effect in advance of the upcoming municipal council elections, which start on Thursday, so it may be some years before women have a chance to exercise these rights. Still, the king's announcement of these reforms marks a historic shift in the ultra-conservative kingdom's treatment of women. More...
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