Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, November 16, 2015)
Word of the Day

tirade

Definition:(noun) A long angry or violent speech, usually of a censorious or denunciatory nature; a diatribe.
Synonyms:philippic, broadside
Usage: Milady had listened to all this menacing tirade with a smile of disdain on her lips, but rage in her heart.
Article of the Day

The Four Humors

In the 3rd century BCE, Hippocrates introduced his theory of Humoralism. It was based on the notion that 4 fluids, each corresponding to one of the 4 elements, permeate the human body and cause disease when not in balance. Theories regarding the 4 humors—blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm—expanded over the years, and in the 2nd century CE, Galen published a treatise which associated a specific temperament with each humor. What humor was thought to cause a melancholic disposition? More...
This Day in History

LSD Is First Synthesized by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann (1938)

Ergot, a toxic fungus that grows on rye, can cause spasms and hallucinations if accidentally ingested. In 1938, Hofmann was researching potentially useful derivatives of ergot when he first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, he did not discover its hallucinogenic properties until five years later, when he accidentally absorbed some of the substance through his fingertips. In 1947, his laboratory introduced LSD as a psychiatric drug. What is "Bicycle Day"? More...
Today's Birthday

George Simon Kaufman (1889)

Kaufman was an American dramatist and humorist who co-wrote more than 40 plays, many of which became tremendously successful. His collaboration with Moss Hart produced such plays as Once in a Lifetime and You Can't Take It With You, and he also worked on the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Kaufman was also an influential drama critic for New York newspapers and was known for his caustic wit. What did he once suggest as a way to avoid crowds during a flu epidemic? More...
Quotation of the Day
Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due—she reminds us too much of a prima donna.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

in default of (something)

Due to the absence or lack of something; through the failure of something. More...
Today's Holiday

Great American Smokeout (2017)

The American Cancer Society encourages nonsmokers to "adopt" smokers on this day and support them as they go through withdrawal from nicotine—a drug that is said to be as addictive as heroin. Schools are particularly active in observing the Smokeout, teaching young people that the easiest way to avoid the health problems associated with smoking is never to start. Other organizations also sponsor programs and activities designed to increase public awareness of the hazards to which both smokers and those who breathe their smoke are exposed. More...
In the News

After Mass Extinctions, the Meek (Fish) Inherit the Earth

A new study suggests that being a little shrimpy might come in handy when the going gets tough. A mass extinction called the Hangenberg event, which took place some 359 million years ago, led to a reduction in vertebrate size for around 40 million ... More...
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