Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 12, 2013)
Word of the Day

capricious

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by or liable to sudden unpredictable changes in attitude or behavior.
Synonyms:whimsical, impulsive
Usage: My wife's capricious mood swings are beginning to worry me, and I fear she may need professional help.
Article of the Day

The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is a volcanic region in Alaska's Katmai National Park that was formed when the Novarupta volcano erupted in 1912. All plant and animal life in the remote region was destroyed by the eruption, which was the largest of the 20th century by volume. Ash and rock fragments filled a valley adjacent to the volcano, and hot gases were emitted through countless cracks in the surface, giving the area its nickname. Does smoke still escape from the cracks today? 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
In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

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

Magnet Danger Has Grown in US

There has been a dramatic uptick in the number of US kids ending up in the emergency room after swallowing magnets. In 2002, just one child in 200,000 went to the hospital for ingesting magnets, but by 2010, the incident rate had risen to six in 200,000. Ingesting multiple magnets or one magnet along with other metal objects can be deadly, as they can be drawn to one another within the body, even when separated by internal tissue. This can lead to pinching or even perforation of the tissue. More...
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