Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 22, 2014)
Word of the Day

idiosyncrasy

Definition:(noun) A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
Synonyms:peculiarity
Usage: Of all her idiosyncrasies, I find her tendency to dance while cooking the most charming.
Article of the Day

The Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley, or Convallaria majalis, lives in shady places and has delicate bell-shaped, fragrant white flowers that grow on a stalk between two shiny leaves. This common garden plant is a symbol of humility in religious paintings. It has also long been used medicinally for cardiac disorders—even though it contains poisonous substances and has been labeled unsafe by the US Food and Drug Administration. The lily of the valley is the national flower of what country? More...
This Day in History

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate Reopens (1989)

The only remaining town gate of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was modeled after the propylaeum of the Athenian Acropolis. Originally topped with the "Quadriga of Victory," a statue of a chariot drawn by four horses, it was heavily damaged in World War II but was later restored. In 1961, the Berlin Wall blocked access to it for both eastern and western Germans, but it was reopened in 1989 with the reunification of East and West Berlin. The gate was the backdrop for what historic speeches? More...
Today's Birthday

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887)

Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician. Extremely poor, he was largely self-taught from age 15. In 1913, he began a correspondence with English mathematician Godfrey H. Hardy that took him to England, where he made advances, especially in the theory of numbers, the partition of numbers, and the theory of continued fractions. He died of tuberculosis at age 32, generally unknown but recognized by mathematicians as a phenomenal genius. What anecdote exists about Ramanujan and the number 1,729? More...
Quotation of the Day
Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

(one's) heart's desire

Something one very much wants or needs. More...
Today's Holiday

Toji (2016)

The earliest mention of Winter Solstice celebrations in Japan dates back at least to 725 CE and comes from records left by Emperor Shomu. It is an especially happy time for farmers, because it marks the time of year when the days begin to grow longer and the sun nearer. Many of the customs associated with Toji are still observed in rural areas—they include enjoying citrus baths, eating foods made from pumpkins (which is believed to bring good luck), and offering gifts to one's ancestors. Servants and workers are often given a day off, and many shrines sponsor bonfires. More...
In the News

McDonald's Rationing French Fries in Japan

The 3,100 some McDonald's restaurants in Japan have begun offering only the small size of French fries in an emergency step to avoid the possibility of completely running out of fries at some locations before the end of the year. The shortage of French fries is due to delays in the shipping of frozen fries from ports on the West coast of the US. A number of factors have led to the delays, including a lengthy labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping terminals. A representative of McDonald's Japan said restaurants will not limit the amount of orders of small fries a customer can purchase. More...
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