Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, September 29, 2015)
Word of the Day

variola

Definition:(noun) An acute, highly infectious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus and characterized by high fever and aches with subsequent widespread eruption of pimples that blister, produce pus, and form pockmarks.
Synonyms:smallpox
Usage: We could tell from the scars on the faces of the villagers that a variola epidemic had passed through the area in their lifetimes.
Article of the Day

Extreme Ironing

The sport of extreme ironing, in which people take an iron and ironing board to a remote location and perform the typically mundane household chore in an extreme setting, was developed by Englishman Phil Shaw in 1997. Shaw's 1999 international tour promoted the activity, which, according to the official website, is "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt." In what adventurous settings has it been done? More...
This Day in History

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Is Excommunicated (1227)

Prior to being excommunicated the first of several times, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had planned to go on a crusade. However, an epidemic waylaid him and a large part of his army, delaying the conquest. As a result, he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX. He eventually went on the postponed crusade and became king of Jerusalem. With Italy as the center of his power, Frederick, a religious skeptic, was in frequent conflict with the papacy. Frederick wrote the first book on what subject? More...
Today's Birthday

Gene Autry (1907)

Probably the most successful "singing cowboy" in American film, Autry began performing on the radio during the 1920s in Oklahoma. He moved to Hollywood in the early 30s and went on to star in nearly 100 films, becoming America's top Western star from 1937 to 1943. He usually played a singing hero astride his famous horse, Champion. He wrote and recorded hundreds of songs, including his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again." What well-known Christmas song was Autry's biggest hit? More...
Quotation of the Day
When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions, if they are so to be called, will be the same.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

Idiom of the Day

let it slip

To accidentally or inadvertently reveal a given secret or important piece of information. More...
Today's Holiday

State Fair of Texas (2017)

Not surprisingly, the State Fair of Texas is one of the nation's biggest state fairs, claiming more than three million visitors to the 200-acre Fair Park in Dallas. The fair began in 1887, and in 1952 Big Tex, its symbol of bigness, arrived. Big Tex is a 52-foot-tall cowboy with a 30-foot chest and 7'8" biceps, wearing a five-foot-high, 75-gallon cowboy hat. The cowboy stands in the middle of the fairgrounds booming out welcomes and announcements. Among fair events are a college football game, concerts, and parades. More...
In the News

Paralyzed California Man Recounts Re-Learning to Walk via Computer

For paraplegic Adam Fritz, the thrill of the computer-assisted first steps he took five years after being paralyzed in a motorcycle crash came only after he was unhooked from the system that enabled him to walk briefly in a bioengineering lab. During ... More...
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