Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, September 06, 2013)
Word of the Day

discombobulate

Definition:(verb) To throw into a state of confusion.
Synonyms:befuddle, confound, confuse, fox, bedevil, fuddle, throw
Usage: The student's surprising question discombobulated the teacher, who found herself tongue-tied for the first time in her career.
Article of the Day

Milk Sickness

Milk sickness afflicts individuals who ingest dairy products or meat from a cow that has fed on white snakeroot, a plant with a poisonous cluster of small white flowers. It is characterized by trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain. Although rare today, such poisoning killed thousands in the early 19th century, including Abraham Lincoln's mother. A doctor first described it in 1809, but its exact cause remained elusive. According to legend, how was its cause discovered? More...
This Day in History

Leningrad's Name Reverts to Saint Petersburg (1991)

Russia's second largest city, Saint Petersburg is a major seaport, rail junction, and industrial, cultural, and scientific center. The city was built in 1703 by Peter the Great, who sought an outlet to the sea and a port for trade through the Baltic. It was the capital of the Russian Empire from 1712 to 1917. Named "Leningrad" in 1924, the city reverted to its original name, Saint Petersburg, in 1991. What had the city been called between 1914 and 1924? More...
Today's Birthday

Jane Addams (1860)

In 1889, with Ellen Gates Starr, Addams founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in the US. Based on the settlements begun in England by Samuel Barnett, Hull House served as a community center for the poor and as a center for social reform, and influenced the settlement movement throughout the country. A joint recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize, Addams was a leader in the women's suffrage and pacifist movements and a lecturer and writer. What are some of her books? More...
Quotation of the Day
One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison.

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924)

Idiom of the Day

handbags at dawn

A confrontation or disagreement that is highly aggressive, emotionally expressive, and/or highly dramatic, but which does not end or result in violence. Used originally and primarily in reference to football (soccer) players, who would be sent off if they engaged in violent actions, the phrase is a play on the clichéd "pistols at dawn," indicating a forthcoming pistol duel. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Swaziland Independence Day

Independence Day is a national holiday in Swaziland. On this day in 1968, Swaziland became self-governing after having been ruled by Britain since 1903. This national holiday was also known as Somhlolo Day or Sobhuza Day, named after Sobhuza II (1899-1982), king of Swaziland from 1921 until his death. In 1973, he disregarded the constitution passed upon independence and assumed supreme power. More...
In the News

Fifth Time's the Charm for 64-Year-Old Cuba-Florida Swimmer

After four failed attempts to make the 110-mile (177-km) swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba to the US, 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad became the first person to complete the crossing without a shark cage or flippers. The achievement was 35 years in the making. She made her first attempt in 1978, when she was just 28, but had to abandon it 42 hours in, after crossing 76 miles. Undeterred, she tried again and again, and after 53 hours in the water this weekend, she finally achieved her goal, sending a message that it is never too late to chase your dreams. More...
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