Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, March 14, 2017)
Word of the Day

platitude

Definition:(noun) A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant.
Synonyms:banality, cliche, commonplace, bromide
Usage: A trite platitude about his not caring to lose her was on his lips, but he refrained from uttering it.
Article of the Day

The Vein of Love

According to tradition, the vena amoris, or "vein of love," runs directly from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand. This belief has been cited in Western cultures as one reason why engagement and wedding rings are worn on that finger. The earliest known use of the phrase is found in A Treatise of Spousal or Matrimonial Contracts, published in 1686 by Henry Swinburne, who claims the concept derives from what ancient culture? More...
This Day in History

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin Awarded Patent (1794)

By the end of the 18th century, the mechanization of fabric production in England had created a huge demand for US cotton, but cotton production was hampered by the large amount of manual labor required to remove the sticky seeds from the raw fiber. Whitney's cotton gin solved this problem, performing the work mechanically and quickly. Cotton production in the US skyrocketed, as did the slave population—which quadrupled by 1850. Why was Whitney unable to profit from his invention? More...
Today's Birthday

Johann Strauss I (1804)

Tragically orphaned at the age of 12, Strauss was apprenticed to a bookbinder but studied violin on the side. After completing his apprenticeship, he performed in string quartets around Vienna before deciding to start his own band and write his own music. He enjoyed much professional success, but his family life was tempestuous. He forbade his children to study music, but they did anyway, with Johann II eventually overshadowing him. In 1849, he died after contracting scarlet fever from whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

idiot mittens

Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. More...
Today's Holiday

Mamuralia (2017)

According to one Roman myth, Mamurius was a smith who was run out of the city because the shields he made for the soldiers failed to protect them when they were substituted for the sacred shield that had fallen from heaven. Another explanation is that Mamurius represented the old year, which had to be driven away on the day preceding the first full moon of the new Roman year. In any case, the rite that took place on March 14 involved leading a man wearing only animal skins through the streets of Rome. He was pursued and beaten with long white rods until he was driven out of the city. More...
In the News

Was Jane Austen Poisoned? New Evidence about the Writer's Weakened Eyes Raises Questions

On July 18, 1817, novelist Jane Austen died at the age of 41. Much of Austen's medical biography is murky, and how she died remains an enduring mystery. Historians, in the two centuries since, have dissected what little evidence exists. In her later ... More...
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