Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 25, 2011)
Word of the Day

solitudinarian

Definition:(noun) One leading a solitary or secluded life.
Synonyms:recluse, troglodyte, hermit
Usage: Peter, a self-proclaimed solitudinarian, lives in a cabin deep in the woods, miles from his closest neighbor.
Article of the Day

The Crinoline

Crinoline is a stiff fabric made with cotton warp and horsehair. By the 1850s, the term was being applied to a large, steel-framed underskirt used to give skirts a fuller shape. This sort of crinoline enjoyed widespread popularity for over a decade despite the fact that it could endanger one’s life. It is believed that a number of women burned to death in part because their crinolines made their garments more flammable. How, according to legend, did a crinoline save the life of one jilted lover? More...
This Day in History

Charlemagne Crowned Emperor (800 CE)

Charlemagne was king of the Franks (768–814) and emperor of the West (800–814). With the exception of the British Isles and parts of Italy and Spain, he united in one vast state almost all the Christian lands of Western Europe. After restoring Leo III to the papacy, he was crowned emperor in Rome on Christmas Day, 800 CE, finalizing the split between the Byzantine and Roman empires and marking the revival of the empire that was the forerunner of the Holy Roman Empire. What language did he speak? More...
Today's Birthday

Louis Chevrolet (1878)

Born in Switzerland, Chevrolet was an auto mechanic who emigrated to the US in 1900 to race cars. In 1905, he drove a mile in a record 52.8 seconds. In 1911, he founded the Chevrolet Motor Company with support from General Motors founder William C. Durant and designed its first car. He sold his interest in 1915 but continued making racecars. His cars won the Indy 500 in 1920 and 1921. He later formed an aircraft company with his brother, but the venture failed. Who drove his winning car in 1920? More...
Quotation of the Day
Though home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit answered to, in strongest conjuration.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

heavy-hearted

Sorrowful; melancholy; depressed. More...
Today's Holiday

Christmas (Greece) (2016)

According to Greek folklore, supernatural beings with unusual powers are present upon earth during the 12 days between Christmas Eve and Epiphany. The name for these spirits is kallikantzari, and they wander about during the Christmas season causing mischief. They are ugly and unkempt, and their favorite way of getting into the house is through the chimney, much like the traditional Santa Claus. Christmas masqueraders often dress in animal skins to represent these demons, and their jangling bells are supposed to drive the spirits away. More...
In the News

Future of Frankincense Uncertain

Frankincense, an aromatic resin that features prominently in the Christmas story and is used extensively in religious rituals, is in danger of disappearing. Fires, grazing cattle, and longhorn beetles that lay their eggs under trees' bark are decimating populations of Boswellia trees, which are tapped to release the fragrant resin. Ecologists say that unless conservation efforts are undertaken, frankincense production could decline by half over the next 15 years and the trees themselves could be nearly wiped out within 50 years. More...
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