Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, October 23, 2014)
Word of the Day

banal

Definition:(adjective) Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite.
Synonyms:stock, threadbare, hackneyed, old-hat, well-worn, tired
Usage: By his twelfth book, his plots had become downright banal.
Article of the Day

Veni Vidi Vici

Before Julius Caesar was made dictator for life, he engaged in a civil war with his rival Pompey. Caesar started the war by crossing the Rubicon River into Italy, reportedly uttering the words Iacta alea est—"the die is cast." Pompey fled and was eventually killed after Caesar pursued him to Egypt. From Egypt, Caesar went to Syria and Pontus, where in 47 BCE he defeated Pharnaces II with such ease that he reported his victory with the words Veni, vidi, vici—meaning what? More...
This Day in History

The Hungarian Republic Is Officially Proclaimed (1989)

The defeat of the Central Powers in WWI brought the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary to an end and led to the creation of an independent Hungarian republic, which, in 1949, came under Communist control. Though a 1956 uprising was suppressed, Hungary became the most tolerant of the Soviet bloc nations of Europe and finally replaced Communism with a multi-party democracy with free elections in 1989. Hungary's relative freedom compared to other Eastern bloc countries led to what satirical nickname? More...
Today's Birthday

Michael Crichton (1942)

While pursuing a medical degree at Harvard University, the intensely private Crichton began writing novels under a pseudonym. He published The Andromeda Strain during his final year and went on to write several best-selling works, many of which were made into films, including Jurassic Park and Congo. He unexpectedly died of throat cancer in 2008. While in college, he once submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name as an experiment. What grade did he receive? More...
Quotation of the Day
Very notable was his distinction between coarseness and vulgarity, coarseness, revealing something; vulgarity, concealing something.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

(it's) little wonder

It is not at all surprising (that something is the case). More...
Today's Holiday

Chulalongkorn Day (2017)

Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday in Thailand commemorating King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the king who abolished slavery and introduced numerous reforms when the country was still called Siam. He succeeded to the throne in 1868 when he was 15 years old, was crowned in 1873, and ruled until his death in 1910. He had been a pupil of Anna Leonowens, who taught the young prince about Abraham Lincoln. The story of her stay in the royal court, and her teaching of the royal children and concubines, was told in Margaret Landon's book, Anna and the King of Siam. More...
In the News

Why Some Get SAD

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression most often experienced in winter, when exposure to sunlight is limited. Although the mechanism of the disorder is not entirely understood, researchers are closing in on its causes. Data show that people with SAD have higher evening and nighttime levels of serotonin transporter (SERT) protein during the winter months than do healthy volunteers. SERT carries serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, back into nerve cells where it is not active, so these higher SERT levels could conceivably account for the "winter blues." More...
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