Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 23, 2015)
Word of the Day

necropolis

Definition:(noun) A cemetery, especially a large and elaborate one belonging to an ancient city.
Synonyms:cemetery, burial ground, graveyard, memorial park
Usage: A guardian in a braided cap walked listlessly through the room like a ghost stalking through a necropolis.
Article of the Day

The Mechanical Turk

In 1770, Wolfgang von Kempelen unveiled his Mechanical Turk, a chess-playing automaton. Dressed in a cloak and turban and seated behind a chessboard, the mannequin played chess and executed complex mathematical puzzles. The Turk performed before numerous world leaders before it was revealed to be a hoax; the cabinet beneath the chessboard, which housed the internal mechanism, actually hid a chess master who secretly operated the machine. Which French Emperor was defeated by von Kempelen's Turk? More...
This Day in History

The Hungarian Republic Is Officially Proclaimed (1989)

The defeat of the Central Powers in WWI brought the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary to an end and led to the creation of an independent Hungarian republic, which, in 1949, came under Communist control. Though a 1956 uprising was suppressed, Hungary became the most tolerant of the Soviet bloc nations of Europe and finally replaced Communism with a multi-party democracy with free elections in 1989. Hungary's relative freedom compared to other Eastern bloc countries led to what satirical nickname? More...
Today's Birthday

Michael Crichton (1942)

While pursuing a medical degree at Harvard University, the intensely private Crichton began writing novels under a pseudonym. He published The Andromeda Strain during his final year and went on to write several best-selling works, many of which were made into films, including Jurassic Park and Congo. He unexpectedly died of throat cancer in 2008. While in college, he once submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name as an experiment. What grade did he receive? More...
Quotation of the Day
Two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

(it's) little wonder

It is not at all surprising (that something is the case). More...
Today's Holiday

Chulalongkorn Day (2017)

Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday in Thailand commemorating King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the king who abolished slavery and introduced numerous reforms when the country was still called Siam. He succeeded to the throne in 1868 when he was 15 years old, was crowned in 1873, and ruled until his death in 1910. He had been a pupil of Anna Leonowens, who taught the young prince about Abraham Lincoln. The story of her stay in the royal court, and her teaching of the royal children and concubines, was told in Margaret Landon's book, Anna and the King of Siam. More...
In the News

Spooky the Asteroid to Hurtle Past Earth on Halloween

An asteroid the size of a football stadium will zoom past Earth on Halloween, in a close encounter that astronomers view as far more treat than trick. The massive asteroid 2015 TB145 will come within 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) of the planet — or ... More...
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