Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, November 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

hostler

Definition:(noun) Someone employed in a stable to take care of the horses.
Synonyms:stableboy, groom
Usage: The coachman said not a word, except to swear awfully at the hostler for not bringing him a fresh team of horses.
Article of the Day

Gache

For many centuries, Korean socialites have worn the gache, an elaborate wig decorated with precious jewels and metals. Such wigs were once considered required attire for brides, but their expense was so great that some families had to save for years to obtain one. The opulence of the gache prompted King Jeongjo to ban it in the late 18th century, but not everyone complied. According to one account, a young bride died because her heavy gache broke her neck. How much does such a wig usually weigh? More...
This Day in History

LSD Is First Synthesized by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann (1938)

Ergot, a toxic fungus that grows on rye, can cause spasms and hallucinations if accidentally ingested. In 1938, Hofmann was researching potentially useful derivatives of ergot when he first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, he did not discover its hallucinogenic properties until five years later, when he accidentally absorbed some of the substance through his fingertips. In 1947, his laboratory introduced LSD as a psychiatric drug. What is "Bicycle Day"? More...
Today's Birthday

George Simon Kaufman (1889)

Kaufman was an American dramatist and humorist who co-wrote more than 40 plays, many of which became tremendously successful. His collaboration with Moss Hart produced such plays as Once in a Lifetime and You Can't Take It With You, and he also worked on the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Kaufman was also an influential drama critic for New York newspapers and was known for his caustic wit. What did he once suggest as a way to avoid crowds during a flu epidemic? More...
Quotation of the Day
A good man is a man who is good to us, and a bad man is a man who doesn't do what we want him to.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

in default of (something)

Due to the absence or lack of something; through the failure of something. More...
Today's Holiday

Great American Smokeout (2017)

The American Cancer Society encourages nonsmokers to "adopt" smokers on this day and support them as they go through withdrawal from nicotine—a drug that is said to be as addictive as heroin. Schools are particularly active in observing the Smokeout, teaching young people that the easiest way to avoid the health problems associated with smoking is never to start. Other organizations also sponsor programs and activities designed to increase public awareness of the hazards to which both smokers and those who breathe their smoke are exposed. More...
In the News

China to Ease One-Child Policy

China introduced its one-child policy in the 1970s in an attempt to prevent its population from growing out of control, but in recent years, experts have increasingly come to believe that the policy is outdated and harmful to the country's economy. Under the policy, urban couples may only have one child unless both parents are only children or belong to an ethnic minority. In such cases, they are permitted a second child. The policy has curbed population growth, but it has also cut China's workforce, undermining economic growth. The government has therefore decided to ease family planning restrictions and allow a second child for couples in which just one of the parents is an only child. More...
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