Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 26, 2016)
Word of the Day

squalid

Definition:(adjective) Dirty and wretched, as from poverty or lack of care.
Synonyms:flyblown, sordid
Usage: They lived like beasts in great squalid labor-ghettos, festering in misery and degradation.
Article of the Day

The Elixir of Life

The elixir of life is a mythical potion said to confer immortality. The ancient Chinese thought that precious substances like gold and mercury brought longevity, and these ingredients were often used in their elixirs. Ironically, some metals are highly toxic and thus poisoned the longevity seekers who ingested them. Buddhism gave the Chinese alternate routes to immortality, but the elixir of life received renewed attention in the 18th century with what claims about the Comte de St. Germain? More...
This Day in History

Steamship RMS Queen Mary Is Launched (1934)

Construction on the Queen Mary ocean liner began in Scotland in 1930. In 1934, British King George V's consort, Queen Mary, christened the ship in her own name. Operated by the Cunard Line, the glamorous luxury ship carried passengers between New York and England for decades—except during World War II, when it was painted grey and converted to carry troops. In the 1960s, air travel rendered transatlantic passenger ships obsolete, and the Queen Mary was retired. Where is it now? More...
Today's Birthday

Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot (1888)

Eliot was an American-British poet and critic and an immensely distinguished literary figure who, from the 1920s on, was the most influential English-language modernist poet. His early poems, such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Waste Land," express the anguish and barrenness of modern life and the isolation of the individual. In his later poetry, he turned from spiritual desolation to hope for human salvation. What book by Eliot is the basis for the musical Cats? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is impossible for good or evil to last for ever; and hence it follows that the evil having lasted long, the good must be now nigh at hand.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Idiom of the Day

l'esprit de l'escalier

A French phrase meaning "the wit of the staircase"; a perfect witty remark, retort, or rejoinder that occurs to one after the fact or too late to be used. (Also written as "l'esprit d'escalier.") More...
Today's Holiday

Birthday of Johnny Appleseed (2017)

John Chapman—better known as Johnny Appleseed for his lifelong dedication to planting apple seedlings all over the American Midwest—was born on this day in 1774. While some frontier settlers thought he was a saint, or at the very least a religious fanatic, with his tin pot hat and coffee-sack tunic, the Native Americans regarded him as a great medicine man since he planted herbs as well as apples. More...
In the News

Aboriginal DNA Points to an Earlier Human Exodus from Africa

Humanity was born in Africa. But at some point, many of our ancestors left. The question of when and how they bid farewell to the continent remains a subject of some debate: A mass exodus occurred roughly 60,000 years ago, according to DNA and fossil ... More...
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