Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 19, 2012)
Word of the Day

bilious

Definition:(adjective) Irritable as if suffering from indigestion.
Synonyms:dyspeptic, liverish
Usage: The man walked into my shop looking bilious and ill-tempered, and it was clear that my day was about to get a lot less pleasant.
Article of the Day

Lampworking

Unlike the technique of glassblowing, in which a blob of molten glass is made hollow by blowing into it through a tube, lampworking involves heating small rods of colored glass over a lamp or torch, then shaping the glass with handheld tools. It is used to make glass beads, paperweights, and other small items. The practice developed in Italy during the Renaissance, and in later centuries was used to produce popular trinkets in France. Fumes from vaporized gold can give the glass what color? More...
This Day in History

A Christmas Carol Is Published (1843)

English novelist Charles Dickens wrote many books and stories about Christmas. His first, the beloved A Christmas Carol, was written in just weeks, reputedly to meet the expenses of his wife's fifth pregnancy. An instant success, it has since been adapted countless times for theater and film. The last name of the story's protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, has even entered the English lexicon as a word meaning a mean-spirited, miserly person. What allegedly inspired Dickens to write the story? More...
Today's Birthday

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1906)

Brezhnev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1931 and steadily rose through the ranks, eventually becoming general secretary of the CPSU (1964-1982) and president of the USSR (1977-1982). A protégé of Nikita Khrushchev, he took power after helping engineer Khrushchev's ouster. Brezhnev's regime was later criticized for its corruption and failed economic policies, but the global influence of the USSR increased dramatically during his tenure, thanks in part to what doctrine? More...
Quotation of the Day
Even in a minute instance, it is best to look first to the main tendencies of Nature. A particular flower may not be dead in early winter, but the flowers are dying; a particular pebble may never be wetted with the tide, but the tide is coming in.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

hawks and doves

Respectively, those who favor or support aggressive military action, especially regarding foreign policy, versus those who are inclined to more peaceful, diplomatic solutions. More...
Today's Holiday

Opalia (2016)

The ancient Roman fertility goddess Ops was known by several different names—among them Rhea, Cybele, Bona Dea, and Magna Mater. She married Saturn and was the mother of Jupiter, and was usually portrayed as a matron, with a loaf of bread in her left hand and her right hand open as if offering assistance. Not much is known about what actually took place during the Opalia. It appears that women played an important role in the festival. Because Ops was a fertility goddess, she was often invoked by touching the earth. More...
In the News

Pakistani Polio Workers Pay with Their Lives

Five female Pakistani polio vaccination workers were killed in a series of coordinated attacks on Tuesday, during a three-day nationwide polio immunization campaign. Pakistan's vaccination workers have faced increasing distrust, hostility, and danger since 2005, when Muslim cleric Maulana Fazlullah, now a Taliban leader, began broadcasting accusations that polio immunization campaigns were actually an American conspiracy to sterilize Muslim children. Attacks on health workers and unofficial regional bans on vaccination have already had widespread impact on eradication efforts in the region. Polio incidence in Pakistan is on the rise, with nearly 200 cases reported in 2011. More...
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