Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 22, 2018)
Word of the Day

histrionic

Definition:(adjective) Characteristic of acting or a stage performance; often affected.
Synonyms:melodramatic
Usage: Dorothea let out a histrionic groan and threw herself to the floor.
Article of the Day

Fences

In the criminal world, a fence is someone who knowingly buys stolen property and later sells it in a legitimate market. Fences often earn large profits because thieves, unwilling to shoulder the risk and time commitment involved in selling stolen goods themselves, are willing to "fence" them for small sums. The use of the word as a verb is first attested to in about 1700 as thieves' slang for selling something under "defense of secrecy." Where do fences often sell their goods today? More...
This Day in History

Cutty Sark Is Launched (1869)

The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year's crop from China. It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sark was originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. What is the origin and meaning of her name? More...
Today's Birthday

George Eliot (1819)

Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was raised with a strong religious piety but broke with orthodoxy in her 20s and turned to fiction, writing such classic Victorian novels as Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch, in which she developed a method of psychological analysis that would become a characteristic of modern fiction. Although her novels are serious in tone, they still contain humorous moments. With which philosopher did Eliot have a lengthy, scandalous affair? More...
Quotation of the Day
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

James Madison (1751-1836)

Today's Holiday

Thanksgiving (2018)

The first American Thanksgiving was entirely religious, and took place on December 4, 1619, but most Americans think of the first "official" Thanksgiving as the one that took place at Plymouth Colony in October 1621, a year after the Pilgrims first landed on the New England coast. Today, Thanksgiving is a time for family reunions and traditions, most of which center around the preparation of an elaborate meal featuring turkey and a dozen or so accompanying dishes. The widespread sales that begin in stores the next day mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. More...
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