Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, March 19, 2013)
Word of the Day

decriminalize

Definition:(verb) Make legal.
Synonyms:legalize, legitimize
Usage: Politicians remain divided over whether or not to decriminalize marijuana use in the United States.
Article of the Day

Hex Signs

Hex signs are a form of folk art that originated in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Though the colorful geometric emblems remain popular in Pennsylvania, they are not used by the local Amish or Mennonite populations. There is some controversy over the true purpose of hex signs. While some folk-art scholars maintain that the signs are purely decorative, they are associated with folk magic, and their designs carry symbolic meaning. A hex sign featuring a horse head is said to protect against what? More...
This Day in History

Willie Mosconi Sinks 526 Consecutive Billiard Balls (1954)

The son of a pool hall owner who tried to keep him from playing billiards, Mosconi learned the game by shooting with potatoes when his father hid the balls. A prodigy, he went on to win the world pool title 15 times before 1957. In 1954, he sank 526 consecutive balls in two hours and 10 minutes, and more than 35 witnesses signed an affidavit swearing to the feat. The record has never been broken. Mosconi was later hired to teach what actor how to convincingly play a pool hustler for a 1961 film? More...
Today's Birthday

William Jennings Bryan (1860)

Despite being a dominant force in the US Democratic Party, Bryan lost three bids for the presidency. However, he helped secure the presidential nomination for Woodrow Wilson, under whom he became secretary of state. Bryan's belief in neutrality led him to resign when it appeared that Wilson would enter the US into World War I. A devout Presbyterian, he later campaigned for Prohibition and, in 1925, died after exhausting himself prosecuting and finally winning what famous legal case? More...
Quotation of the Day
The woods are never solitary—they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life. But the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself for all eternity…The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only—a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

Faustian bargain

An agreement, bargain, or deal in which a person sacrifices or abandons his or her moral, ethical, or spiritual values in favor of wealth, power, or other benefits. A reference to the legend of Faust, who sold his soul to the devil for unlimited knowledge and power. More...
Today's Holiday

Whale Festival (Fort Bragg, California) (2017)

Gray whales spend their summers in the Bering Sea but migrate every year to the waters off the coast of Mexico, where females give birth to their young. Since the whales prefer to hug the coast as they make their long journey, they are often visible to those living in seaside towns. The neighboring northern California towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg hold their whale festivals on consecutive weekends in March. Their celebrations include whale-watching cruises, wine tasting, seafood chowder tasting, nature walks, and visits to the Cabrillo Point lighthouse. More...
In the News

Freedom Fleeting for Helicopter Prison-Break Inmates

Two Canadian inmates, whose daring daytime prison escape on Sunday—believed to be Quebec's first helicopter-facilitated jailbreak—triggered a massive manhunt, a shootout with police, and a standoff, are back in custody and facing a slew of charges. So are their two accomplices, who hijacked a helicopter, forced its pilot to fly to the prison, tossed down ropes for the waiting inmates, and then whisked the men away. More...
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