Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, November 16, 2014)
Word of the Day

charlatan

Definition:(noun) A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud.
Synonyms:mountebank
Usage: In a somber tone, the charlatan proclaimed that he could cure the woman with only a banana peel—for a small fee, of course.
Article of the Day

Ilan Ramon

Ramon was Israel's first astronaut. As a pilot in the Israeli Air Force, he fought in the Yom Kippur War and took part in the bombing of Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor. He went on to serve as payload specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and was killed when the craft disintegrated during re-entry. Despite being a secular Jew, Ramon reportedly observed Jewish law while in space, feeling he represented "all Jews and all Israelis." Which of his belongings survived the shuttle crash? More...
This Day in History

LSD Is First Synthesized by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann (1938)

Ergot, a toxic fungus that grows on rye, can cause spasms and hallucinations if accidentally ingested. In 1938, Hofmann was researching potentially useful derivatives of ergot when he first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, he did not discover its hallucinogenic properties until five years later, when he accidentally absorbed some of the substance through his fingertips. In 1947, his laboratory introduced LSD as a psychiatric drug. What is "Bicycle Day"? More...
Today's Birthday

George Simon Kaufman (1889)

Kaufman was an American dramatist and humorist who co-wrote more than 40 plays, many of which became tremendously successful. His collaboration with Moss Hart produced such plays as Once in a Lifetime and You Can't Take It With You, and he also worked on the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Kaufman was also an influential drama critic for New York newspapers and was known for his caustic wit. What did he once suggest as a way to avoid crowds during a flu epidemic? More...
Quotation of the Day
Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.

Karl Marx & Frederick Engels (1818-1883)

Idiom of the Day

in default of (something)

Due to the absence or lack of something; through the failure of something. More...
Today's Holiday

Great American Smokeout (2017)

The American Cancer Society encourages nonsmokers to "adopt" smokers on this day and support them as they go through withdrawal from nicotine—a drug that is said to be as addictive as heroin. Schools are particularly active in observing the Smokeout, teaching young people that the easiest way to avoid the health problems associated with smoking is never to start. Other organizations also sponsor programs and activities designed to increase public awareness of the hazards to which both smokers and those who breathe their smoke are exposed. More...
In the News

Stinky Problem Could Soon Spread to UK

The brown marmorated stink bug, an agricultural pest native to the Far East, has already invaded North America and parts of Europe and could soon be making itself at home in the UK. It is likely only a matter of time, as two stink bugs have already been found on imported timber bound for the UK. The bugs are so named because they emit a foul smell when threatened. Worse than their smell, perhaps, is the damage they can do to fruit and vegetable crops. More...
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