Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, October 26, 2016)
Word of the Day

burgher

Definition:(noun) A comfortable or complacent member of the middle class.
Synonyms:bourgeois
Usage: From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns.
Article of the Day

Trout Tickling

Trout tickling is the practice of rubbing the underbelly of a trout in order to put it in a trance-like state that makes it easier to catch by hand. Commonly used in times of economic stress, especially during the 1930s depression era, the technique has been featured in works of literature throughout history—including writings by 3rd century Greek writer Aelian, Shakespeare, and Mark Twain, who described catching catfish in a similar way. In what country is the practice essentially outlawed? More...
This Day in History

USA PATRIOT Act Signed into Law (2001)

Enacted quickly and with little opposition in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the sweeping USA PATRIOT Act dramatically enhanced the powers of law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies within the US. The bill has since come under increasing scrutiny and criticism, and aspects of it have faced legal challenges in the courts. After it was renewed in 2006, most of its sections became permanent. What section of the act has riled librarians in particular? More...
Today's Birthday

Mahalia Jackson (1911)

As a child, Jackson sang at the New Orleans church where her father preached. After moving to Chicago, she sang with a touring gospel quintet. Her warm, powerful voice first came to wider public attention in the 1930s. Called "The Queen of Gospel," she sang at an inaugural party for US President John F. Kennedy, at the 1963 March on Washington, and at the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite many offers, she refused to sing secular songs. Jackson was born with what physical deformity? More...
Quotation of the Day
There are strings … in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

a joy to behold

A thing, event, or experience that creates a profound sense of joy or elation in the spectator. More...
Today's Holiday

Punkie Night (2017)

In the English village of Hinton St. George, Somerset, it is traditional for both children and adults to walk through town carrying "punkies," or lanterns made from carved-out mangel-wurzels, or mangolds (a variety of beet), with candles in them. Although this custom is observed in other English towns, the celebration at Hinton St. George is by far the best established. There is a procession of children carrying punkies through the streets, begging for money, and singing the "punky song." A prize is given out for the best carved punky. More...
In the News

Out of This World: How Artists Imagine Planets Yet Unseen

When scientists recently announced that they had discovered a new planet orbiting our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centuri, they also released an artist's conception of the planet. The picture of a craggy canyon, illuminated by a reddish-orange ... More...
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