Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 4, 2016)
Word of the Day

battlement

Definition:(noun) A notched parapet built on top of a wall, with alternating merlons and crenels for decoration or defense.
Synonyms:crenelation, crenellation
Usage: I came upon it by a winding ledge of road, which clung to the bare side of the hill like the battlements of some huge castle.
Article of the Day

The "Rat-Squirrel"

When scientists discovered the Laotian rock rat, a large, rat-like creature with a thick, hairy tail, they believed that the animal was so different from known rodents that it warranted classification in a new, distinct family called Laonastidae. Shortly thereafter, another group of experts published their assertion that the animal was actually a member of the ancient fossil family Diatomyidae. Under what urban circumstances did researchers find the first Laotian rock rat specimens? 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
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

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

Exquisitely detailed 520 million-year-old fossil shows individual nerves

Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis wasn't exactly a beautiful animal: The crustacean-like Cambrian creature had a long, segmented body and an unholy number of legs that it used to scuttle across the ocean floor. But scientists are oohing and ahhing over the ... More...
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