Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, March 4, 2013)
Word of the Day

washed-out

Definition:(adjective) Having lost freshness or brilliance of color.
Synonyms:bleached, faded
Usage: Michael is finally buying new jeans to replace that torn, washed-out pair he has been wearing for years.
Article of the Day

St. Elmo's Fire

St. Elmo’s fire is a weather phenomenon that causes luminous plasma to appear at the ends of tall, pointed objects such as spires, airplane wings, and ships' masts when the atmosphere is electrically charged. It is sometimes accompanied by a hissing sound. Named for St. Erasmus, the patron saint of sailors, the glowing display has been known to mariners since ancient times and has been interpreted as an omen, usually for good. What were some notable historical appearances of the phenomenon? More...
This Day in History

Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted (1975)

Though he spent most of his career in the US, British-born silent-film legend Charlie Chaplin never applied for citizenship. The US took advantage of this fact in 1952, while Chaplin was overseas, revoking his re-entry permit over his alleged Communist ties. His political leanings, as well as his many affairs with young women, nearly cost him a knighthood, but after decades of debate, he was finally knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. What was stolen from Chaplin's grave shortly after his death? More...
Today's Birthday

Miriam Makeba (1932)

Nicknamed "Mama Africa," Makeba was a Grammy Award-winning singer and activist. In 1963, after she testified against apartheid before the UN, South Africa revoked her citizenship and right to return to the country. She settled in the US, where her musical career flourished, then moved to Guinea after being criticized for marrying a Black Panther. She remained in exile for 30 years, finally returning to her homeland in 1990 at the end of apartheid. Why did she spend six months in jail as a baby? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

hold (one's) nerve

To remain calm, steady, and resolute, especially in the face of danger or adversity. More...
Today's Holiday

Bal du Rat Mort (2017)

A huge carnival and ball, Bal du Rat Mort is concentrated in the casino of Ostende, Belgium, but also spread out all over the town. The carnival began at the end of the 19th century, launched by members of the Oostende Art and Philanthropic Circle (Circle Coecilia) who named the affair for a café on Montmartre (a hilly part of northern Paris, home to many artists) where they had whiled away pleasant hours. People are masked at the ball, and there's a competition for the best costume. More...
In the News

Genetic Consequences of Sacrificing Sleep

Imagine a future in which sleep has been made obsolete. It may be improbable, but it is not necessarily impossible. A lack of adequate sleep can cause a host of health issues, as illustrated by a recent study showing that just a week of shortened sleep alters the expression of more than 700 genes, including those involved in stress and immune responses. Still, if researchers are able to uncover all of the physiological changes that occur as a result of sleep deprivation, they could, theoretically, develop a drug to counter these effects and thereby eliminate the need for sleep. More...
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