Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, April 05, 2014)
Word of the Day

conflate

Definition:(verb) Mix together different elements.
Synonyms:coalesce, fuse, mix, merge, commingle, flux, blend, meld, combine
Usage: My kids think that I spend all day making up bedtime stories for them, but in truth, I spin each yarn as I go and merely conflate elements from various fairy tales rather than concoct a new narrative.
Article of the Day

Sicily

Sicily, the strategically located largest island in the Mediterranean, has long been a crossroads of history, a "melting pot" of ancient cultures and peoples. It was colonized by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks starting in the 8th century BCE and in the millennia that followed fell first to the Romans, then successively to the Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, and Arabs, and finally to the Normans. Today, it is an autonomous region of Italy. Who are some of history's most famous Sicilians? More...
This Day in History

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt Forbids Hoarding of Gold (1933)

Executive Order 6102 required US citizens and businesses to turn in all but a small amount of gold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for $20.67 per ounce. It came in the midst of a banking crisis, when the stability of paper currency was in doubt. Consequently, many tried to withdraw their money and redeem it for gold, which was considered safer. However, there simply was not enough gold in the US—or the world—to cover the nation's debts. How many people were prosecuted for violating the order? More...
Today's Birthday

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (1908)

American screen legend and two-time Academy Award-winning actress Bette Davis made her Hollywood debut in 1931 and, after several flops, won acclaim for her role in 1934's Of Human Bondage. Her electrifying performances and intense characterizations of strong women made her a prime box-office attraction between 1935 and 1946, but her popularity declined thereafter. Undeterred, she launched a comeback and continued acting until shortly before her death. Why did she disinherit her daughter? More...
Quotation of the Day
Now, I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
To say another is an ass—at least, to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by heaving rocks at him to any great extent.

Bret Harte (1836-1902)

Idiom of the Day

be as good as gone

To be very nearly, inevitably, or for all intents and purposes lost, departed, defunct, or deceased. More...
Today's Holiday

Rama Navami (2017)

The Hindu festival of Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Rama, who was the first son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya. According to Hindu belief, the god Vishnu was incarnated in 10 different human forms, of which Rama was the seventh. Because Rama is the hero of the great religious epic poem, the Ramayana, Hindus observe his birthday by reciting stories from it. They also flock to temples, such as that in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, where the image of Rama is enshrined, and chant prayers, repeating his name as they strive to free themselves from the cycle of birth and death. More...
In the News

Stolen Masterpieces Found in Unlikely Place

Nearly 40 years ago, an Italian factory worker bought two paintings at a lost-property auction for 45,000 lire (23.24 euros). He hung the works in his home, enjoying them but never knowing their true value until recently, when his son began probing their origins. The paintings in question are now believed to be a Paul Gauguin and a Pierre Bonnard that have a combined estimated value of between 10.6 million and 30.6 million euros. The works had been stolen from a London home in 1970 and then, for reasons that remain unknown, abandoned on a train in northern Italy. After no one stepped forward to claim the then-unidentified paintings, the state railway company put them up for auction. More...
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