Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 4, 2011)
Word of the Day

moonshine

Definition:(noun) Whiskey illegally distilled from a corn mash.
Synonyms:bootleg, corn liquor
Usage: I drank too much moonshine last night, and now I have a terrible hangover.
Article of the Day

The Space Elevator

A space elevator is a hypothetical megastructure capable of transporting material from Earth—or another celestial body—into space without the use of rockets. The concept was first conceived by Russian inventor Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895. Many of today's proposed designs incorporate tensile towers built out of advanced materials like carbon nanotubes, which are very strong and lightweight. By 1978, technology had advanced enough that working space elevators could have been constructed where? More...
This Day in History

Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted (1975)

Though he spent most of his career in the US, British-born silent-film legend Charlie Chaplin never applied for citizenship. The US took advantage of this fact in 1952, while Chaplin was overseas, revoking his re-entry permit over his alleged Communist ties. His political leanings, as well as his many affairs with young women, nearly cost him a knighthood, but after decades of debate, he was finally knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. What was stolen from Chaplin's grave shortly after his death? More...
Today's Birthday

Miriam Makeba (1932)

Nicknamed "Mama Africa," Makeba was a Grammy Award-winning singer and activist. In 1963, after she testified against apartheid before the UN, South Africa revoked her citizenship and right to return to the country. She settled in the US, where her musical career flourished, then moved to Guinea after being criticized for marrying a Black Panther. She remained in exile for 30 years, finally returning to her homeland in 1990 at the end of apartheid. Why did she spend six months in jail as a baby? More...
Quotation of the Day
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit on a hot stove lid again and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

hold (one's) nerve

To remain calm, steady, and resolute, especially in the face of danger or adversity. More...
Today's Holiday

Bal du Rat Mort (2017)

A huge carnival and ball, Bal du Rat Mort is concentrated in the casino of Ostende, Belgium, but also spread out all over the town. The carnival began at the end of the 19th century, launched by members of the Oostende Art and Philanthropic Circle (Circle Coecilia) who named the affair for a café on Montmartre (a hilly part of northern Paris, home to many artists) where they had whiled away pleasant hours. People are masked at the ball, and there's a competition for the best costume. More...
In the News

Tired Adults Nodding Off at Work, Behind the Wheel

Sleeping less than the recommended seven to nine hours a night takes a toll on concentration, memory, and health, but about one-third of US adults surveyed in a recent study say they get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night. This is particularly troubling since sleepiness can lead to deadly car accidents. Drowsy drivers are linked to more than 1,500 deaths and 40,000 nonfatal injuries in the US each year, but in a recent study, five percent of adults admitted to nodding off at least once while behind the wheel. More...
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