Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 12, 2011)
Word of the Day

precept

Definition:(noun) Rule of personal conduct.
Synonyms:principle
Usage: I forget who it was that recommended men for their soul's good to do each day two things they disliked: it was a wise man, and it is a precept that I have followed scrupulously; for every day I have got up and I have gone to bed.
Article of the Day

The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls were a group of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint at a New Jersey factory in 1917. The women, who had been told the paint was harmless, ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to sharpen them. Some even painted their fingernails with the glowing substance. After the risks were exposed, five of the women sued their employer in a case that led to the establishment of what right? More...
This Day in History

Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis. According to some accounts, what was Mussolini's reply when the paratroopers told him that Adolf Hitler had sent them? More...
Today's Birthday

Henry Louis "H.L." Mencken (1880)

Often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century, Mencken was a journalist, satirist, social critic, and cynic known as the "Sage of Baltimore," for the city where he lived his entire life. Perhaps best remembered for his satirical reporting on the Scopes evolution trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey trial," Mencken was frequently critical of myriad institutions. Why did the Arkansas legislature pass a motion in 1931 to pray for Mencken's soul? More...
Quotation of the Day
To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

lay (one's) life on the line

To put oneself in harm's way (to achieve something), especially at the risk of losing one's life. (Sometimes used hyperbolically.) More...
Today's Holiday

Defenders' Day (2017)

Defenders' Day, a legal holiday in Maryland, celebrates the anniversary of the battle of North Point. The battle took place near Baltimore on September 12, 1814; two days later, the unsuccessful British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to jot down the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner." For this reason the two events are celebrated more or less in conjunction on September 12. Defenders' Day is celebrated with a number of patriotic events, including an annual mock bombardment of the fort on the weekend nearest September 12. More...
In the News

Parents Who Lose a Young Child More Likely to Die Early

Research has shown that people are more likely to die following the death of a spouse, commonly referred to as dying of a "broken heart," and a new study shows the same to be true following the death of a young child. It found that parents who lost a baby before its first birthday were up to 4 times more likely to die in the decade following the child's death. Though the risk of death lessened over time, mothers continued to be 1.2 times more likely to die 30 years after the loss of their child. More...
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