Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 20, 2015)
Word of the Day

abattoir

Definition:(noun) A building where animals are butchered.
Synonyms:slaughterhouse, butchery, shambles
Usage: The largest abattoirs are those of the meatpacking industry.
Article of the Day

Sumo Wrestling

Japanese sumo wrestling originated as a religious ritual performed at Shinto shrines and evolved into a spectator sport in the 17th and 18th centuries. Matches often last only a few seconds and end when one wrestler forces his opponent to either step outside the fighting ring or touch the ground with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet. Wrestlers generally weigh more than 300 lbs (135 kg) and follow a rigorous training regimen. What is the life expectancy of a sumo wrestler? More...
This Day in History

South Carolina Becomes the First State to Secede from the US (1860)

In the 1830s, South Carolina residents, frustrated by agricultural tariffs, broached the possibility of secession. Tariff reform appeased them for some time, but following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The state's governor immediately demanded all federal property within the state, including Fort Sumter. The firing on Sumter by Confederate batteries in 1861 precipitated the Civil War. When was the US flag raised over Fort Sumter again? More...
Today's Birthday

Branch Wesley Rickey (1881)

Rickey was an American baseball executive. In 1919, he devised baseball's farm system of using minor-league teams to train major-league players. In 1945, after he took over the Brooklyn Dodgers, he defied convention and broke a long-standing race barrier by hiring Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues. A deeply religious man, the "Mahatma"—as Rickey was popularly known—never played, attended, or managed games on Sundays. What protective gear did he introduce to baseball? More...
Quotation of the Day
The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Idiom of the Day

a head-scratcher

A thoroughly complex or difficult mystery, problem, puzzle, or riddle. More...
Today's Holiday

Halcyon Days (2016)

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the "Halcyon Days." Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx's wife and one of Aeolus's daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression "halcyon days" has come to mean a period of tranquillity, often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More...
In the News

Horror Films Really Can Curdle Your Blood

Scary movies really are blood-curdling, researchers report. In medieval times, it was believed that extreme fear could "curdle" -- or congeal -- blood. Modern-day researchers decided to scientifically test that theory.They recruited 24 healthy young ... More...
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