Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 04, 2011)
Word of the Day

passel

Definition:(noun) (Often followed by "of") a large number or amount or extent.
Synonyms:great deal, hatful, lot, peck, mickle, mint, quite a little, slew, spate, tidy sum, wad, stack, raft, mountain, pile, plenty, mass, batch, heap, deal, flock, pot, mess, sight
Usage: The President faces a passel of domestic issues.
Article of the Day

Vlad III the Impaler: The Original Dracula

Vlad III, son of Prince Vlad Dracul, briefly ruled Wallachia in the mid-15th century. Known as Dracula, meaning "Son of the Dragon" or "Son of the Devil," Vlad lived up to his moniker. He ruled with terrible cruelty, impaling tens of thousands and earning his own nickname—"the Impaler." The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, although not based on Vlad's historical exploits, introduced the name Dracula to a global audience. What other execution methods are said to have been favored by Vlad? More...
This Day in History

The Kent State Shootings (1970)

In 1970, the US was in the midst of the Vietnam War, and antiwar demonstrations among students were common. When students at Ohio's Kent State University decided to protest the incursion of US forces into Cambodia, no one imagined it would end in tragedy. But National Guard troops called in to disperse the crowd opened fire, killing four and wounding nine others. The shooting sparked nationwide outrage and became a rallying point for antiwar activists. Where else were student protesters killed? More...
Today's Birthday

Horace Mann (1796)

Mann overcame limited early education to enter law and politics. He became secretary of Massachusetts' new board of education in 1837, at a time when the public school system was in poor condition. In his 12 years there, he established high schools, enhanced teacher training and pay, curbed child labor, and improved facilities and equipment. He fought for free, nonsectarian, universal schooling, greatly advancing education in the US. What quote is engraved on his monument at Antioch College? More...
Quotation of the Day
The land of literature is a fairy-land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

in (someone's) wheelhouse

In, related to, or matching someone's general interests, abilities, or area of familiarity; in someone's comfort zone. More...
Today's Holiday

Rhode Island Independence Day (2017)

Rhode Island was the first and only state to declare its independence from England entirely on its own. On May 4, 1776, both houses of the General Assembly renounced the colony's allegiance to Great Britain—a full two months before the rest of the colonies followed suit on July 4. Rhode Islanders celebrate this event during May, which is Rhode Island Heritage Month, with flag-raising ceremonies, cannon salutes, and parades of local patriotic, veterans', and scouting organizations. More...
In the News

Neurons Nap in Tired Brains

Researchers say that if a person is sleep deprived, parts of his brain can fall asleep despite the fact that he remains fully awake at the time. Scientists observing the brain activity of rats forced to stay awake for longer periods than usual found that problem-solving brain regions entered a sort of "local sleep" state. During these periods, the rats appeared no less awake than at other times of wakefulness, however, they did have trouble completing challenging tasks. The study authors believe it is likely that the human brain reacts in a similar fashion when sleep deprived. More...
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