Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 21, 2011)
Word of the Day

button-down

Definition:(adjective) Unimaginatively conventional.
Synonyms:conservative
Usage: Knowing that her unconventional appearance would hold her back in the button-down corporate culture she was about to enter, she reluctantly dyed her magenta hair back to its natural auburn.
Article of the Day

Constructed Worlds

A constructed world is an imaginary world, usually created for a novel, video game, or role-playing game, that possesses a unique geography and climate and is often home to sapient creatures with their own cultures and histories. Detailed maps and languages of their creators’ invention help make these worlds seem more realistic. J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth is one example of a constructed world. There are two major approaches to world-building: top-down and bottom-up. How do they differ? More...
This Day in History

Lowest Temperature in History Recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica (1983)

Located near the magnetic South Pole, Russia's Vostok Research Station in Antarctica experiences three straight months of polar night every year from April to August, a period during which the Sun does not rise. In 1983, in the dead of southern winter and polar night, Vostok experienced the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, a chilling -128.56 degrees F (-89.2 degrees C). December 1989 was the warmest month ever recorded at Vostok. On average, how warm was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Isaac Stern (1920)

Born in Ukraine, Stern came to the US as an infant and began studying violin as a child. He made his New York debut at 17 and toured extensively after World War II. A cultural ambassador, he performed in the Soviet Union and China as one of the world's top violin virtuosos. In 1960, he formed a famous trio with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose. Stern helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts and is noted for having saved what landmark institution from demolition? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

Johnny One-Note

Someone who repeatedly expresses or maintains a strong opinion on a single or a few particular subjects. Primarily heard in US, Canada. More...
Today's Holiday

Hemingway Days Festival (2017)

This week-long celebration of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), the American novelist and short-story writer, is held in Key West, Florida. The festival has been held since 1980 during the week of Hemingway's birthday, July 21. Hemingway made his home in Key West at one time, and his novel, To Have and Have Not (1937), is set there. Events include a street fair, a Hemingway look-alike contest, a fishing tournament, an arm-wrestling competition, and a party and concert at the Hemingway Home and Museum. More...
In the News

UN Declares Famine in Somalia

The UN has declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia and warns that the crisis could spread throughout the country over the next two months if international donors do not take immediate action. The area is suffering the worst drought in more than half a century, affecting an estimated 10 million people. Most major aid agencies employ the word famine only when at least 20 percent of the population has access to fewer than 2,100 kilocalories of food a day, more than 30 percent of children are suffering acute malnutrition, and two adults in 10,000 or four children in 10,000 are dying of hunger each day. More...
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