Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 31, 2014)
Word of the Day

surfeit

Definition:(noun) An excessive amount.
Synonyms:overabundance, excess
Usage: The surfeit of goods produced caused prices to fall, hurting the economy.
Article of the Day

Castanets

Now used primarily in Spanish dance music, castanets are percussion instruments that were known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Of the many kinds, the most common consist of two small matching pieces of hard wood or ivory, joined at the inner edge and used with a thin strap in the player's hand. They are snapped together between the palm and fingers and used to produce clicks for rhythmic accents, especially to accompany dancing. What is the origin of the instrument's name? More...
This Day in History

Arthur Guinness Signs a 9,000-Year Lease on His Brewery (1759)

Guinness is a celebrated Irish dry stout that originated in the Dublin brewery of Arthur Guinness. When Guinness acquired his brewery, he famously signed a 9,000-year lease that fixed his annual rent at 45 pounds. From 1799, the brewery produced only its distinctive, dark, creamy Guinness stout, which became known as the national beer of Ireland. Although Guinness stout may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of what? More...
Today's Birthday

Elizabeth Arden (1884)

Born in Canada as Florence Nightingale Graham, Arden moved to New York City in 1907 and under her new name opened a beauty salon. Her business became an international empire based on salons, hundreds of "scientifically formulated" beauty products, and an exclusive image—all packaged in her trademark pink. Arden made makeup acceptable to "respectable" American women, introducing them to eye shadow, mascara, and lipstick tinted to match their outfits. What poem inspired her business name? More...
Quotation of the Day
You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

high profile

A presence or stance that is deliberately conspicuous and prominent socially. More...
Today's Holiday

New Year's Eve (Spain) (2016)

In Spain, it is customary for families to gather on New Year's Eve in small groups to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Grapes are distributed, and, when midnight arrives, everyone eats one grape for each stroke of the clock. Eating all 12 grapes before the clock is finished striking ensures good luck in the New Year. The grapes are usually washed down with muscatel wine. So firmly entrenched is the custom that in theaters and cinemas, the show is often interrupted at midnight on New Year's Eve so that the audience can eat the grapes and drink the wine they've brought with them. More...
In the News

Google Lists Its Top Searches of 2014

What were you searching for in 2014? Google recently released its report of the fastest-rising search requests from 2014, and the suicide of comedian Robin Williams topped the list. The actor's tragic death outranked the year's other much-discussed topics, including the Ebola outbreak, the World Cup, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the Ice Bucket Challenge—a viral campaign to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. More...
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