Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 9, 2017)
Word of the Day

preclude

Definition:(verb) Keep from happening or arising; make impossible.
Synonyms:foreclose, forestall, prevent, forbid
Usage: Modesty precludes me from accepting the honor.
Article of the Day

Shrunken Heads

The Shuar people of Ecuador and Peru first came to worldwide attention in the 1800s, after Westerners discovered that the group practiced head shrinking. The custom stems from the belief that severing an enemy's head and shrinking it harnesses the person's spirit and compels it to serve the shrinker. Though cultural restrictions limited the manufacture of shrunken heads, Western demand for the macabre artifacts prompted the Shuar to produce them in greater quantities. How does one shrink a head? More...
This Day in History

Edward R. Murrow's See It Now Airs McCarthyism Episode (1954)

In the early 1950s, US Senator Joseph McCarthy persecuted scores of people he deemed subversive in a series of widely-publicized hearings that whipped the public into an anti-Communist frenzy. In 1954, journalist Edward R. Murrow produced an episode of his TV show See It Now that criticized the Red Scare and turned public opinion against McCarthy using the senator's own words. Murrow later invited McCarthy to respond. What happened when the senator accepted? More...
Today's Birthday

Vita Sackville-West (1892)

Sackville-West was an aristocratic English writer and gardener who married the diplomat and author Harold Nicolson in 1913. Their complicated relationship is chronicled in Portrait of a Marriage, a biography inspired by her journals and written by their son Nigel. The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, which she designed, are among the most visited in England. However, she is perhaps best remembered for her love affair with author Virginia Woolf, which inspired which of Woolf's novels? More...
Quotation of the Day
Compromise, n.: Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

not have a hope in hell (of doing something)

To not have any chance at all of doing or achieving something. More...
Today's Holiday

Baron Bliss Day (2017)

Baron Bliss Day is a public holiday in Belize honoring Englishman Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss (1869-1926). When he died on March 9, Bliss bequeathed his entire estate to Belize City. On this day each year, a morning mass and wreath laying is held at his tomb in the Fort Point area. Then there is a regatta in the harbor, a cycle race, and a kite contest. More...
In the News

Why Are Pandas Black and White? The Answer Is, err, Not So Black and White

Mammals are a mostly drab bunch. Due to camouflage, a nocturnal lifestyle and other evolutionary demands, dull and earthy tones reign supreme. There are a few notable exceptions. When mandrills become excited, the monkeys' rumps turn shades of ruby ... More...
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