Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, April 13, 2014)
Word of the Day

crabbed

Definition:(adjective) Irritable and perverse in disposition; ill-tempered.
Synonyms:fussy, grouchy, grumpy, cross
Usage: I first put out my tacky lawn ornaments as a practical joke, but after my persnickety, crabbed neighbor lodged a complaint about them, I dug my heels in and refused to take them down.
Article of the Day

Snakes

Snakes are scaly, cold-blooded, carnivorous reptiles related to lizards. They tend to be limbless and move by muscular contraction. Though they have razor-sharp teeth, they do not chew their prey but instead swallow it whole with the help of a loosely attached jaw. Because their bodies are tubular, some paired organs must be staggered within the body, and one of the two lungs is generally non-functional and sometimes even absent. Why are snakes associated with healing and medicine? More...
This Day in History

Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

The first African American to achieve leading man status in Hollywood, Poitier began acting with the American Negro Theatre in New York City and made his film debut soon after. He won acclaim on Broadway for his role in 1959's A Raisin in the Sun and, in 1964, became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. Many of his films address issues of race, yet some have criticized his choice of film roles for what reason? More...
Today's Birthday

Lanford Wilson (1937)

One of the founders of the "off-off-Broadway" theater movement, Wilson began writing plays in 1962 and helped found the Circle Repertory Company in 1969. His plays frequently address themes of decay, solitude, and loss, and are known for their realistic dialogue in which monologue, conversation, and direct audience address overlap. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley's Folly depicts the post-Vietnam War world of a Southern family. What Russian work did he translate for the stage? More...
Quotation of the Day
Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

Idiom of the Day

in a/the flash of an/the eye

So quickly as to seem almost imperceptible (i.e., in the space of time it takes a person to blink). More...
Today's Holiday

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) (2017)

Also known as Sheer Thursday or Holy Thursday, this is the day preceding Good Friday. It commemorates Jesus' institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, celebrated by Christians since the middle of the fourth century. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion still celebrate the rites of Maundy Thursday, which may include handing out special coins known as "Maundy money" to the aged and the poor, instead of footwashing. Also on this day, the sacramental Holy Oils, or chrism, are blessed. More...
In the News

Spinal Stimulation Lets Paralyzed Patients Move Their Legs Again

Four men who had been paralyzed from the chest down for more than two years regained the ability to voluntarily move their legs and feet after having an electrical device implanted in their spines. Though the procedure did not restore their ability to walk, simply being able to control the movement of their once-paralyzed limbs has had far-reaching benefits both physical—increased muscle mass, improved bladder and sexual function—and psychological. It remains unclear why epidural stimulation has this effect, but researchers suspect it makes the lower spinal cord more excitable and therefore more receptive to signals from the brain. More...
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