Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, September 27, 2014)
Word of the Day

foible

Definition:(noun) A minor weakness or failing of character.
Synonyms:fault, defect, imperfection
Usage: His father's foibles did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him.
Article of the Day

(Hula) Hooping Through History

Hoops, originally made from stiff grasses and other natural materials, have been popular toys for centuries—long before "hula" was added to their name in the 18th century. Doctors in medieval England blamed many injuries on a recreational "hooping" fad. Another craze surfaced in the 1950s, when the Wham-O company released its plastic hoop. Today, hoops have found renewed popularity among adults who perform hoop dances or enjoy hooping at concerts. What do you need to make your own hula hoop? 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
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

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

It's a Vast World After All

The world's population currently stands at 7.2 billion and is projected to rise to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion by the end of this century. Earlier estimates had forecast a leveling off of world population around 2050, but higher-than-expected birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa mean the number of people on the planet will likely continue to rise instead. In Africa alone, the population is expected to rise from the current 1 billion to between 3.5 and 5.1 billion by 2100. More...
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