Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 23, 2014)
Word of the Day

mawkish

Definition:(adjective) Excessively and objectionably sentimental.
Synonyms:bathetic, hokey, maudlin, schmaltzy, sentimental, mushy, drippy
Usage: His pathos is often exaggerated until it passes into mawkish sentimentality.
Article of the Day

Persephone

In Greek mythology, Persephone is the goddess of fertility and, having been taken captive by Hades and made his wife, queen of the underworld. Though Hades eventually allowed her to return to Earth, he first tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds—the food of the dead—thus tethering her to the underworld and making it necessary for her to return to him for several months each year. What changes are said to come over the Earth each time she leaves for or returns from the underworld? More...
This Day in History

New York Public Library Dedicated (1911)

When former New York governor Samuel J. Tilden died in 1886, he left $2.4 million in his will for the creation of a grand public library. At that time, there were two other important libraries in New York City—the Astor and the Lenox—but they were struggling. With Tilden's gift, they were merged in 1895. The new library's cornerstone was laid in 1902 at the old Croton Reservoir on Fifth Avenue, and it finally opened to the public in 1911. By 1910, how many miles of shelves had been installed? More...
Today's Birthday

Rosemary Clooney (1928)

Clooney was an American singer popular in the 1950s with hits such as "Come On-a My House." She also appeared in several movies, including White Christmas (1954), which co-starred Bing Crosby. In the 1960s, mental illness and drug addiction took a toll on her career, but she made a comeback in the mid-1970s and performed until her death in 2002. Her 1968 mental breakdown was precipitated by the assassination—as she stood nearby—of what personal friend? More...
Quotation of the Day
The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

fingers crossed

An expression of hope that something one desires will come to pass or turn out to be true. A truncated version of the phrase "keep your fingers crossed." More...
Today's Holiday

Declaration of the Bab (2017)

Declaration of the Bab is a joyous Baha'i festival to celebrate the Bab's announcement in 1844 in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), that he was the "gate" (which is the meaning of Bab) to the coming of the promised one of all religions. This proclamation is considered the beginning of the Baha'i faith, although the religion was founded after the Bab's death. This day is holy to Baha'is and a day on which work is suspended. Its observation begins at about two hours after sunset on May 22. More...
In the News

Thai Army Declares Coup

The Thai military's imposition of martial law in order to "preserve order and bring back peacefulness" has officially evolved into a full-blown coup. After gathering government and opposition leaders for talks, Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced to the assembled leaders—and shortly thereafter in a televised address to the nation—that he would be taking power, marking the country's 12th successful coup since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. The constitution has been suspended and nighttime curfews put in place. More...
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