Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 19, 2012)
Word of the Day

harum-scarum

Definition:(adjective) Cheerfully irresponsible.
Synonyms:devil-may-care, happy-go-lucky, slaphappy, freewheeling, carefree
Usage: I was a harum-scarum, reckless lad, and he had had an education, and was already marked for the sword-belt.
Article of the Day

Hecate

In Greek religion and mythology, Hecate is the goddess of ghosts and witchcraft and the governess of liminal regions. Identified with three other goddesses, she was sometimes depicted as having three bodies, giving her the ability to look in all directions at once. Because she helped rescue Persephone from Hades, she became associated with the underworld. In the upper world, she haunted graveyards and crossroads and was invisible to all eyes except those of what animal that often followed her? More...
This Day in History

France Declares War on Prussia (1870)

The Franco-Prussian War was the outcome of the progressive unification of German states after the Napoleonic Wars. Events came to a head when the Spanish throne was offered to a member of the Prussian Hohenzollern family, raising the possibility of a Prussian-Spanish alliance against France. The French government demanded assurances that no member of the Hohenzollern family would ever rule Spain and declared war when it was refused. What famously insulting telegram prompted France's declaration? More...
Today's Birthday

Charles Horace Mayo (1865)

Mayo was a gifted surgeon who, with his father, brother, and several other doctors, founded the world-renowned non-profit medical center in Minnesota that would become the Mayo Clinic. In addition to seeing patients, Mayo served as the health officer of Rochester, Minnesota, for many years and also taught medical students. He originated modern procedures in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery and reduced the death rate in goiter operations. What factor contributed to his early surgical success? More...
Quotation of the Day
They are the good Samaritans that find us robbed of all our dreams by the roadside of life, bleeding and weeping and desolate; and such is their skill and wealth and goodness of heart, that they not only heal up our wounds, but restore to us the lost property of our dreams.

Richard le Gallienne (1866-1947)

Idiom of the Day

jet-setter

A wealthy individual who travels globally, especially by private jet, to frequent fashionable resorts, social events, and the like. More...
Today's Holiday

Swan Upping (2017)

The tradition of marking newborn swans goes back six centuries, when most of the swans on England's public waters were owned by the Queen. Every year since 1363, the Queen's swan master and the swan wardens of the two livery companies row up the Thames, starting at Blackfriars and continuing upstream to Abingdon, and "up" all the swan families into the boats, where they are marked with identification numbers. There are very specific rules governing how ownership is decided, and the six boats, each flying a large silk flag, form a procession that has changed little over the centuries. More...
In the News

Over the Moon over Pluto's New Moon

More than thirty years after Pluto's first moon was discovered, a fifth moon orbiting the dwarf planet has been found. Spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope, the newly discovered moon, labeled P5, rounds out a list that includes Charon, Nix, Hydra, and P4. Despite not even qualifying as a planet—Pluto was demoted to dwarf status in 2006—the icy orb officially has more moons than Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars combined. Still, Jupiter puts them all to shame with a whopping 63 known moons. More...
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