Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 7, 2016)
Word of the Day

spline

Definition:(noun) A wooden or metal strip.
Synonyms:slat
Usage: Humidity and weathering had caused the spline on the edge of the door to detach.
Article of the Day

Hashshashin

The historical referents of the term "assassin," the Hashshashin were a secret society of Ismaili Shia Muslims who specialized in politically motivated killings of Crusaders and Muslim rulers. Much of the lore surrounding the feared sect, which originated in Persia and was active from 1090 to 1272, stems from Marco Polo's likely fictional account of his visit to the city of Alamut in 1273. What drug is believed to be the root of the term "Hashshashin," and what was its connection to the sect? More...
This Day in History

Theatre Royal Opens at Covent Garden in London, England (1732)

The original Covent Garden playhouse, called the Theatre Royal, was built in 1732 and hosted performances of plays, pantomimes, and opera. Twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt, the theater that stands today is the third built on the site. The Royal Ballet began performing there in 1946. The Royal Opera House reopened in 1999 after an 18-month renovation. It seats 2,268 people and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies. What actor financed the construction of the original theater in 1732? More...
Today's Birthday

Larry Bird (1956)

Bird was an American basketball player. After spending most of his collegiate career at Indiana State University, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1978 and became a perennial all-star. He led the Celtics to three championships and was named the league's most valuable player as many times. He retired after winning gold with the 1992 US Olympic "Dream Team." What future rival did Bird face in a college basketball championship game and then again in three professional championship series? More...
Quotation of the Day
Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

have (one's) head read

To have one's logic or sanity examined or reevaluated, usually regarding some ridiculous decision, plan, or idea. A reference to a pyschiatric evaluation, the phrase is usually used prescriptively. More...
Today's Holiday

Chaomos (2016)

Chaomos is the winter festival of the Kalasha people, who live in valleys in the northwestern corner of Pakistan, about 20 miles north of Chitral. The festival honors Balomain, a demigod said to have once lived among the Kalasha. The celebration begins with the purification of women and girls. A man waves burning juniper over the head of each woman, murmuring, "Sooch" ("Be pure"). On the following day, the men and boys are purified. The celebration continues with singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires, and festive eating of special bread and goat tripe. More...
In the News

Pluto Is Hiding a Gigantic Liquid Ocean You Would Never, Ever Want to Swim In

Pluto is hiding a very big secret some 3 billion miles away from Earth: a vast ocean of liquid water. If you could suck all of the liquid from below the dwarf planet's icy shell, it might amount to a sphere up to 780 miles wide, or about 75% of all of ... More...
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