Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 31, 2012)
Word of the Day

brigand

Definition:(noun) An armed thief who is (usually) a member of a band.
Synonyms:bandit
Usage: You looked more like a brigand than an honest man, with your beard six inches, and your hair a foot long.
Article of the Day

The Gourd

Though the gourd family technically includes cucumbers and watermelons, the name "gourd" is usually applied to fruits with hard, durable shells, such as squash and pumpkins. Colorful and oddly shaped gourds are picked for ornamental use, while others are hollowed out for use as instruments, cooking utensils, lamps, containers, and countless other purposes. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as "nature's pottery." In ancient surgery, gourds had what unusual and important use? More...
This Day in History

UNIVAC Computer Delivered to the US Census Bureau (1951)

By 1870, the US population was so large that hand-counting the census was no longer feasible. Despite the invention of a counting machine, by the time the 1880 census was tabulated, it was almost 1890. Dealing with so much data remained a problem until the late 1940s, when the Census Bureau commissioned the first civilian computer. In 1951, it was used to count part of the 1950 census and was so successful that the bureau bought another. What presidential election did UNIVAC correctly predict? More...
Today's Birthday

Jack Johnson (1878)

The son of two ex-slaves, Johnson was the world's first African-American heavyweight champion. At the height of his career, Johnson was excoriated by the press for having twice married white women, and he offended white supremacists by defeating former champion James J. Jeffries, the "Great White Hope." In 1912, Johnson was convicted under the Mann Act for transporting his wife-to-be across state lines. Sentenced to a year in prison, he fled the country. What happened when he returned? More...
Quotation of the Day
Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration ... and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose—as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

be losing it

To start becoming crazy, insane, or mentally unstable. More...
Today's Holiday

First Monday Trade Days (2017)

The First Monday Trade Days are a trading bazaar that each month brings 100-300,000 people to the small town of Canton, Texas. This legendary affair in northern Texas has its origins in the 1850s when the circuit court judge came to Canton on the first Monday of the month to conduct court proceedings. Farmers from the area would gather to sell or trade horses, conduct other business in town, and watch the occasional hanging. Now the flea market starts on Thursday and runs through the weekend before the first Monday, offering merchandise and food at more than 3,000 exhibition stalls. More...
In the News

Ibuprofen Could Ward Off Altitude Sickness Symptoms

Air is "thinner" at high altitudes, meaning there is less oxygen in the atmosphere. This can cause a range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and nausea, collectively known as altitude sickness. While certain prescription drugs can help prevent and treat altitude sickness, new research suggests that some people may benefit more from the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen. More...
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