Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 04, 2013)
Word of the Day

nonplus

Definition:(verb) To put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do.
Synonyms:bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, baffle, mystify, perplex, puzzle, stupefy, amaze, gravel, vex, pose, stick, beat, get
Usage: He was nonplussed by the sudden announcement that the company where he had worked for the past 20 years was declaring bankruptcy and shutting its doors.
Article of the Day

Shiraz

Shiraz is a southern Iranian city near the extensive ruins of ancient Persepolis—the capital of Persia established by Darius I and plundered by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. In the 18th century, Karim Khan briefly made Shiraz the capital of Persia, adorning it with fine buildings. Shiraz has long been regarded as an economic and cultural center of Iran, famous for its eponymous wine, gardens, carpets, shrines, and mosques, as well as its poets and philosophers. Which poets are buried here? More...
This Day in History

Led Zeppelin Officially Disbands (1980)

On September 25, 1980, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham asphyxiated on his own vomit and died after a day of heavy drinking. Two months later, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin issued a press release stating that the band would not continue without Bonham. For decades, rumors of the band's imminent reunion persisted, but the surviving members made only sporadic appearances to perform together. In 2007, they reunited for a single concert as Led Zeppelin. Who played drums in Bonham's place? More...
Today's Birthday

Lillian Russell (1861)

One of the most popular stars of the musical stage in her day, Russell debuted in New York as a teenager and soon became a star. She was known for her flamboyant personal life, her hourglass figure, and her voice. Though she was married four times, her affair with "Diamond Jim" Brady has become legendary. She also wrote a syndicated newspaper column and was a popular lecturer. She died shortly after completing a fact-finding mission—on behalf of US President Warren Harding—to investigate what? More...
Quotation of the Day
All visible objects ... are but as pasteboard masks.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Idiom of the Day

king of the jungle

The lion, especially in cultural or artistic depictions. (Usually a misnomer, as lions typically inhabit deserts or dry forests, as opposed to jungles.) More...
Today's Holiday

St. Barbara's Day (2017)

In parts of France, Germany, and Syria, St. Barbara's Day is considered the beginning of the Christmas season. In southern France, especially in Provence, it is customary to set out dishes holding grains of wheat soaked in water on sunny window sills. If the "St. Barbara's grain" grows quickly, it means a good year for crops. There is a similar custom in Germany and the Czech and Slovak republics, where cherry branches are placed in water and tended in the hope that they will bloom on Christmas Eve. In Syria, St. Barbara's Day is for feasting and bringing food to the poor. More...
In the News

Study: Oxytocin Alters Social Brain Activity in Autistic Children

Studies on the safety and effectiveness of oxytocin—informally referred to as the "love hormone" due to its role in emotional bonding—in treating autism have had mixed results, but a recent study of autistic children found that it alters activity in parts of the brain involved in social interactions and could enhance social function. Still, the findings are very preliminary, and experts caution parents of autistic children not to attempt to administer oxytocin to their children until more is known about its benefits and potential side effects. More...
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