Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, October 31, 2018)
Word of the Day

dishearten

Definition:(verb) To shake or destroy the courage or resolution of; dispirit.
Synonyms:put off
Usage: These difficult economic conditions dishearten people and undermine their hope.
Article of the Day

Ancient Roman Sanitation

The sophisticated sanitation system in ancient Rome has been the subject of study by historians and archeologists for centuries. Antiquity's largest city, imperial Rome counted well over a million inhabitants at its height. The city was supplied with water—from as far as 57 miles (92 km) away—by its many aqueducts, most of which were underground conduits. Some of the more famous stone arch versions are still standing. Rome also had a complex system of sewers. Where did they empty? More...
This Day in History

Harry Houdini Makes His Final Escape (1926)

Born Erik Weisz, Harry Houdini was an American magician and escape artist. He was famous for escaping from locks, handcuffs, straitjackets, and even sealed chests underwater, thanks to his incredible strength, agility, and skill at manipulating locks. His strength likely carried him through his last performance on October 24, 1926, while suffering from acute appendicitis. He was hospitalized and died on October 31. What strange occurrence in his dressing room contributed to his death? More...
Today's Birthday

Natalie Clifford Barney (1876)

Though she was a writer for all of her adult life, Barney is not widely known today for her poetry, plays, novels, or epigrams. Instead, she is remembered for her strong support of female writers and for her openness about her homosexuality. For more than 60 years, she hosted an international salon at her Paris home. The well-attended gatherings frequently featured women's works. She also wrote proudly about her love of women in a way that few, if any, had since what 6th-century BCE Greek poet? More...
Quotation of the Day
It has been observed that one's nose is never so happy as when thrust into the affairs of others, from which some physiologists have drawn the inference that the nose is devoid of the sense of smell.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Halloween (United States) (2018)

Halloween has its ultimate origins in the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain, a time when people believed that the spirits of the dead roamed the earth. Children go from house to house in costume—often dressed as ghosts, skeletons, or vampires—on Halloween saying, "Trick or treat!" Though for the most part the threat is in jest, the "trick" part if they don't receive a treat may include marking the house's windows with a bar of soap or throwing eggs at it. Most receive treats in the form of candy or money. Halloween parties and parades are popular with adults as well. More...
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