Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, November 25, 2011)
Word of the Day

natation

Definition:(noun) The act or art of swimming or floating on water.
Synonyms:floating
Usage: Prolonged natation will cause the skin on your hands and feet to swell and wrinkle.
Article of the Day

The Harmonium

Invented in the 1840s, the harmonium is a free-standing keyboard instrument in which air is forced over reeds by means of foot-operated bellows. Pitch is determined by the size of the reeds, while sound quality is determined by the size and shape of the tone chamber surrounding each reed. It is smaller and lighter than a piano, has no pipes, and is resistant to damage. Easier to ship that a piano, it was popular in 19th-century colonies, such as India, where it has developed in what unique ways? More...
This Day in History

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap Begins Its Record-Breaking Run (1952)

When The Mousetrap opened in London, Christie, a legendary mystery author, predicted her play would run for just eight months. However, its initial run never ended, and it is now the longest-running play in the world. The murder mystery has been performed more than 24,000 times and is a popular tourist attraction. At the end of each performance, the audience is asked not to reveal the play's notorious twist ending. Who owns the rights to the play, and how did he get them? More...
Today's Birthday

Virgil Thomson (1896)

An influential American music critic and composer, Thomson studied in Paris. There, he met Gertrude Stein, with whom he wrote the operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All. He also wrote several film scores. As music critic for New York's Herald Tribune, he delivered gracefully written criticism that was respected for its concern with music rather than the performers. What unusual method of composition was Thomson known for reviving? More...
Quotation of the Day
Comfort, n.: A state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor's uneasiness.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

bring (something) into effect

To cause (something) to apply, begin operating, or take effect; to begin implementing or enforcing (something). More...
Today's Holiday

Manger Yam (2017)

Manger Yam is a harvest celebration of the yam crop observed in Haiti. It is considered taboo to eat any of the new yams before the festival for fear of falling ill or bringing ruin to the yam crop. In Vodoun belief, it is very important for people to maintain relationships with the dead, as well as with each other and the gods, so the deceased are included in the Manger Yam. In the Vodoun service, the priest or priestess leads prayers to the dead and to the gods and offers the first yams to them. After the ceremony, people feast on yam dishes and enjoy music and dancing. More...
In the News

US Lawmakers Say Pizza and Fries Count as Vegetables

School meals subsidized by the federal government are required to include a certain amount of vegetables, but do pizza and French fries really fit the bill? Apparently, US lawmakers think so. The US House of Representatives passed a bill last week that abandons proposals that would limit the frequency with which schools could serve white potatoes and effectively strip pizza's status as a vegetable. Pizza's qualification as a vegetable rests on the tomato paste sandwiched between its crust and cheese. The proposed changes would have raised the serving size to half a cup, much more than is found on a single slice of pizza. More...
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