Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 11, 2016)
Word of the Day

philippic

Definition:(noun) A verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language; a tirade.
Synonyms:tirade, broadside
Usage: Ferrars looked exceedingly angry, and drawing herself up more stiffly than ever, pronounced in retort a bitter philippic.
Article of the Day

Automats

An automat is a fast food restaurant where food and drinks are served by coin- and bill-operated vending machines. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first automat in the US in 1902 and quickly popularized the notion of take-out food with their slogan “Less work for Mother.” The original automat machines, which had little windows containing the prepared meals, were filled from behind by workers who cooked the fresh food in an unseen kitchen. What led to the decline of automat dining? More...
This Day in History

Mikhail Gorbachev Becomes Leader of the Soviet Union (1985)

In 1985, after the death of the third Soviet leader in two years, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, ushering in an era of political reform with his policies of glasnost and perestroika. He cultivated warmer relations with the US and others and even supported the democratically elected governments that replaced the communist regimes of eastern Europe. In 1991, he resigned the presidency of the USSR, which ceased to exist the same day. How did his own policies lead to the end of his administration? More...
Today's Birthday

Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (1915)

In the 1950s, Licklider—who had studied math and physics and had a doctorate in psychology—began studying information technology. He was appointed head of information processing at ARPA, the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, in the early 60s. There, he laid the groundwork for computer networking and ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet. He is considered one of the most important figures in computing history and is often compared to what historical trailblazer? More...
Quotation of the Day
To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Idiom of the Day

housewarming (party)

A party thrown to celebrate when someone moves into a new apartment, flat, or house. More...
Today's Holiday

Purim (2017)

Six hundred years before the Christian era, most Jews were slaves in Persia. The Persian prime minister Haman persuaded King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) to let him destroy the empire's entire Jewish population. The king did not realize that his own wife, Esther, was Jewish until she pleaded with him to spare her people. The Book of Esther is read aloud in synagogues on the eve and morning of Purim, and listeners drown out every mention of Haman's name by jeering and stamping their feet. Purim is also a time for sharing food with friends and for charity to the poor. More...
In the News

This Animal Tears Its Face Off to Open Its Mouth

There's a small, tentacled freshwater animal called a hydra, whose mouth disappears every time it closes. I really mean that: it disappears. When your mouth closes, the two halves are still distinct. No matter how tightly you purse your lips together ... More...
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