Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, July 28, 2014)
Word of the Day

somnolent

Definition:(adjective) Drowsy; sleepy.
Synonyms:slumbery, slumberous
Usage: The monotonous sound of his voice had a somnolent effect, and I found myself nodding off during the speech.
Article of the Day

Perfume

Perfume is a mixture of alcohol and fragrant essential oils. Animal substances—such as musk, ambergris, and civet—were first added as fixatives in the Middle Ages. Since the early 19th century, chemists have produced thousands of synthetic essential oils, some imitating natural products and others yielding new scents. Most perfumes today are blends of natural and synthetic scents and of fixatives that add pungency. Fine perfumes may blend more than 100 ingredients. What is a fragrance wheel? More...
This Day in History

Thomas Cromwell Is Executed (1540)

Arguably the architect of the Reformation, Cromwell was an English statesman who gained nearly complete control of the government as the closest advisor of King Henry VIII of England. Cromwell abused his power but only fell from Henry's favor after convincing him to marry Anne of Cleves, whom Henry found unattractive. After the marriage fizzled, Anne was sent away with a generous pension, but Cromwell was beheaded—on the same day that Henry did what? More...
Today's Birthday

Malcolm Lowry (1909)

Lowry was an English writer known for his articulation of the spiritual desolation of the modern individual. His reputation rests on the semi-autobiographical 1947 novel Under the Volcano. Set in Mexico—from which Lowry was once deported—it recounts the last day of a dispirited, alcoholic, former British consul. Though critically praised, it received popular recognition only after Lowry's death—probably from the effects of alcoholism—at 47. What rumors surround his cause of death? More...
Quotation of the Day
It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind; but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

jungle telegraph

An informal means of communication or information, especially gossip. Used most commonly in the phrase "hear (something) on the jungle telegraph." (Analogous to "hear (something) through the grapevine.") Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Crop Over (2017)

This harvest festival in Barbados was originally celebrated in the 1800s by slaves at the end of the sugar-cane harvest. Today, Crop Over is a civic celebration which takes place during the last three weeks of July and usually ends on the first Monday in August. There are historical displays, craft shows, fairs, open-air concerts, calypso music and dancing, and "stick licking"—a self-defense sport similar to fencing. The first Monday of August is the finale, known as the Kadooment, which includes the judging of costumed bands at the National Stadium and a grand calypso procession. More...
In the News

Teen Use of Human Growth Hormone on Rise in US

American teens are increasingly using synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) without medical supervision in an effort to enhance their athletic performance and appearance. Just five percent of high-school students polled in 2012 said they had used synthetic HGH without a prescription, but by 2013 that number had jumped to 11 percent. The non-profit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, which carried out the surveys, said the findings highlight the need for better regulation and labeling of over-the-counter products purporting to contain synthetic HGH. More...
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