Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, April 13, 2011)
Word of the Day

pennant

Definition:(noun) A long flag; often tapering.
Synonyms:waft, streamer
Usage: The boy had fastened a brightly-colored pennant to the front of his bike.
Article of the Day

Coelacanths

Coelacanths, powerful predators with limb-like fins, appeared about 350 million years ago. Once considered the missing link between fish and tetrapods, they were thought to have become extinct 80 million years ago—until one was caught in 1938 near the southern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. They are deep-sea fish with hollow fin spines and average 5 ft (1.5 m) in length and weigh approximately 100 lb (45 kg). How is the coelacanth's heart different from those of other vertebrates? More...
This Day in History

Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

The first African American to achieve leading man status in Hollywood, Poitier began acting with the American Negro Theatre in New York City and made his film debut soon after. He won acclaim on Broadway for his role in 1959's A Raisin in the Sun and, in 1964, became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. Many of his films address issues of race, yet some have criticized his choice of film roles for what reason? More...
Today's Birthday

Lanford Wilson (1937)

One of the founders of the "off-off-Broadway" theater movement, Wilson began writing plays in 1962 and helped found the Circle Repertory Company in 1969. His plays frequently address themes of decay, solitude, and loss, and are known for their realistic dialogue in which monologue, conversation, and direct audience address overlap. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley's Folly depicts the post-Vietnam War world of a Southern family. What Russian work did he translate for the stage? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is so pleasant to come across people more stupid than ourselves. We love them at once for being so.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

in a/the flash of an/the eye

So quickly as to seem almost imperceptible (i.e., in the space of time it takes a person to blink). More...
Today's Holiday

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) (2017)

Also known as Sheer Thursday or Holy Thursday, this is the day preceding Good Friday. It commemorates Jesus' institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, celebrated by Christians since the middle of the fourth century. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion still celebrate the rites of Maundy Thursday, which may include handing out special coins known as "Maundy money" to the aged and the poor, instead of footwashing. Also on this day, the sacramental Holy Oils, or chrism, are blessed. More...
In the News

French Face Veil Ban Goes into Effect

On Monday, France became the first country to enact a law forbidding face-covering veils such as the niqab or burqa in public places. Violators of the new law may be fined 150 euros (217 dollars) and made to attend lessons in French citizenship. Anyone found forcing a woman to wear a veil faces a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years. The French government says such veils relegate wearers to an inferior status and cannot be tolerated in a country that values equality. However, opponents of the law say it violates people's freedom of religion and accuse President Nicolas Sarkozy of stigmatizing Muslims to gain the support of far-right voters. More...
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