Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 27, 2012)
Word of the Day

short-handed

Definition:(adjective) Lacking the usual or necessary number of workers, employees, or assistants.
Synonyms:undermanned, understaffed
Usage: Three of our waitresses called in sick today, so we are rather short-handed at the moment.
Article of the Day

The Flâneur

Derived from the French verb flâner, meaning "to stroll," a flâneur is one who walks without a destination. Refined by French poet Charles Baudelaire, the idea of the flâneur as a person who travels a city on foot in order to experience it has been embraced by thinkers in fields such as photography and urban planning. Disengaged yet aware, the flâneur wanders without any purpose except to observe without interacting. In Canadian French, what negative connotation does flâner carry? 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
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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

Free Bus Passes for Seniors Pay Off

In 2006, England introduced a program offering free bus passes to seniors, but budgetary concerns could soon bring the program to a screeching halt. However, terminating the program could in fact end up costing the government money. Research shows that senior citizens given free bus passes are more likely to undertake "active travel," defined as walking, cycling, or using public transportation. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of inactivity-related illnesses among the elderly, thereby cutting healthcare costs. More...
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