Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 14, 2014)
Word of the Day

gravitas

Definition:(noun) Formality in bearing and appearance.
Synonyms:lordliness, dignity
Usage: Our national father figure needs gravitas, [but] he's pitched himself as the kid brother.
Article of the Day

Etiquette

Many areas of public life are governed by codes of etiquette, which we often follow without having to think about them. However, every culture has its own distinct systems of etiquette, so it can be difficult to know how to behave in a new place, especially when conducting business. In Japan, for example, moments of silence are a normal part of conversation, in contrast with the small talk that is expected in some other cultures. What are some other examples of etiquette throughout the world? More...
This Day in History

Felice Orsini Attempts to Assassinate French Emperor Napoleon III (1858)

Orsini was an Italian revolutionary in the movement for Italian unification. In 1858, he made an attempt on the life of Napoleon III, whom he held responsible for the failure of the Italian revolutions of 1848 to 1849. Although ably defended by French statesman Jules Favre, Orsini was executed. His act, designed to arouse world interest in the Italian cause, paradoxically influenced Napoleon's own decision to intervene in favor of Italian unification. How did Orsini try to kill Napoleon? More...
Today's Birthday

John Dos Passos (1896)

Dos Passos was an American writer whose World War I service as an ambulance driver and later work as a journalist led him to see the US as "two nations"—one for the rich and one for the poor. An artist to boot, he created many of the illustrations and covers for his books. His reputation as a social historian, radical critic of American life, and major novelist of the postwar "Lost Generation" rests primarily on his powerful U.S.A. trilogy, which includes what three novels? More...
Quotation of the Day
A good dinner brings out all the softer side of a man. Under its genial influence the gloomy and morose become jovial and chatty.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

hold that thought

An expression used to interrupt someone mid-speech and indicate that one's attention is being or about to be diverted. More...
Today's Holiday

Pongal (2017)

A colorful four-day harvest celebration in southern India, Pongal honors the sun, the earth, and the cow. The first day is for cleaning everything in the house. On the second day, freshly harvested rice and jaggery (palm sugar) are put to boil in new pots, and people cry out, "Pongal!" ("It boils.") On the third day, village cows and oxen are bathed, decorated with garlands of bells, beads, and leaves, and worshipped. On the fourth day, bundles containing money are tied to the sharpened horns of bulls. Young men who are brave enough try to snatch the money from the bulls' horns. More...
In the News

India Marks Three Years Polio-Free

Since 1995, India has spent $2.5 billion on its campaign to eradicate polio, mobilizing millions to stamp out the crippling disease. Just a few years ago, hundreds of new polio cases were still being reported there each year, but in 2011, there was just one—the country's last. Three years have passed since polio was last seen in India, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to declare the nation polio-free in the coming months. The only countries where polio remains endemic are Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. More...
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