Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, July 26, 2014)
Word of the Day

cacophonous

Definition:(adjective) Having a harsh, unpleasant sound; discordant.
Synonyms:jarring, grating, raucous, strident, dissonant, inharmonious
Usage: The school's cafeteria was as cacophonous as a hen yard.
Article of the Day

Obsidian

Obsidian is a very shiny volcanic glass that is sometimes used as a semiprecious stone. Though it is formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava, obsidian is only slightly harder than window glass. It is typically jet black, but the presence of hematite produces red and brown varieties, and tiny gas bubbles may create a golden sheen. Obsidian was used by Native Americans for weapons, implements, tools, and ornaments and by the ancient Aztecs and Greeks for mirrors. What is snowflake obsidian? More...
This Day in History

US President Truman Signs Executive Order Desegregating Military (1948)

Expanding on 1941's Executive Order 8802, which prohibited discrimination in the defense industry, Order 9981 required that all persons in the armed forces be treated equally without regard to race or other factors. It also called for the establishment of an advisory committee to facilitate the implementation of this policy. The order eliminated segregation in the armed forces within years, though racism was another matter entirely. What historically black boot camp was eliminated by Order 9981? More...
Today's Birthday

Aldous Huxley (1894)

Huxley was a British writer known for his works of witty and pessimistic satire, like Antic Hay (1923), which established his reputation as a novelist. In his acclaimed Brave New World, he envisions a nightmarish, scientifically controlled future society that underscores the dehumanizing aspects of technological progress. His later works reveal an interest in philosophy and mysticism. Though he spent much of his life in the US, he was repeatedly denied citizenship for what reason? More...
Quotation of the Day
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Idiom of the Day

jump at the chance (to do something)

To accept or seize with alacrity an opportunity (to do something). More...
Today's Holiday

Teej (2017)

Teej is a way to welcome the monsoon, the season when the wind from the Indian Ocean brings heavy rainfall. This is also a celebration for women and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva and patron goddess of women. On Teej, specially decorated swings are hung from trees in every village, and women swing on them and sing songs in praise of Parvati. Married women go to their parents' home and receive gifts of clothes and jewelry. There are also local fairs and processions carrying the image of the goddess. On this day, she is supposed to have been reunited with Shiva. More...
In the News

Bubonic Plague Death Prompts Quarantine in China

The bubonic plague has a prominent place in history books, having killed about a quarter of the European and Asian population in the 14th century in a pandemic now known as the Black Death, but its story does not end there. Periodic outbreaks on a much smaller scale have taken place since that time, with 60 succumbing to the disease in Madagascar not long ago. Thus, when a man in Yumen city, China, died of the plague last week, officials acted quickly to quarantine anyone he had contact with—151 people—and establish four quarantine zones in the city, setting up checkpoints to ensure the areas remain sealed off until they are certain the danger has passed. More...
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