Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 28, 2013)
Word of the Day

palliate

Definition:(verb) Lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of.
Synonyms:extenuate, mitigate
Usage: There has been in the past no excuse, no circumstance, that could palliate the offense.
Article of the Day

South African Taxi Wars

In 1987, South Africa's lucrative taxi industry—serving over 60 percent of commuters—was deregulated. Since then, it has been dominated by turf wars among rival associations of taxi operators that use mafia-like tactics, including hired killings. The wars intensified with the end of apartheid in 1994. In addition to the violence, the industry is also plagued by the inherent danger created by outdated vehicles and reckless drivers. How many taxi-related deaths occurred annually in the 1990s? More...
This Day in History

Panama Gains Independence from Spain (1821)

Situated on the thin isthmus that connects North and South America but divides the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Panama has long been a vital crossroad for trade and travel. Under Spanish control for more than 300 years, Panama finally broke with Spain to join a newly independent Colombia as the Spanish empire faltered. Today, in addition to celebrating that Independence Day, the country observes another. When did Panama separate from Colombia, gaining a second independence—and another holiday? More...
Today's Birthday

Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon (1661)

Not long after Hyde allegedly attended his wife's funeral dressed in women's clothes, the queen of England—whom Hyde had also reportedly dressed as during an official event—dismissed him from his post as governor of New York and New Jersey. The decision was purportedly prompted by mounting complaints from the colonists he governed, including myriad charges of corruption. He was later imprisoned for debt. What is known about the portrait that supposedly depicts him wearing a gown? More...
Quotation of the Day
Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Idiom of the Day

kick the tires

To inspect or test something or someone to ensure that he, she, or it meets the required or expected standard of quality. Primarily heard in US, Canada. More...
Today's Holiday

Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha (2017)

The Ascension of Abdul'l-Baha is a holy day in the Baha'i religion that commemorates the death of Abbas Effendi in 1921 in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel). The eldest son of Mirza Husayn Ali, known as Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i faith, he was named the leader of the Baha'i community in his father's will. In turn, Abdu'l-Baha appointed his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi (1896-1957) as his successor. Today the affairs of the worldwide Baha'i community are administered by the Universal House of Justice, a body that meets in Haifa and is elected every five years. More...
In the News

Saudi Arabia Arrests Men over Free Hugs

For nearly a decade, people around the globe have been setting up shop in public spaces to offer a single ware—hugs—gratis. The Free Hugs campaign is a movement aimed at promoting random act of kindness, but not everyone approves of the movement or its methods. Two men were recently arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs to passers-by, charged with indulging in exotic practices and offending public order. They were reportedly made to sign a pledge stating that they would not engage in the practice again. More...
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