Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, May 21, 2017)
Word of the Day

craven

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by abject fear; cowardly.
Synonyms:recreant
Usage: The cowardly shopkeeper angered the revolutionaries with his craven proposal to raise the white flag and surrender.
Article of the Day

Rube Goldberg Machines

A Rube Goldberg machine is an exceedingly complex apparatus that performs a very simple task in an incredibly indirect and convoluted way. Named for cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who was known for illustrating such contraptions, the machines are now the subject several competitions in which teams are judged on their machine's ability to complete a certain task using as many steps as possible. What is an example of a simple task performed by one of Goldberg's illustrated mechanisms? More...
This Day in History

Rajiv Gandhi Is Assassinated (1991)

When his brother Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash in 1981, Rajiv Gandhi—then an airline pilot—was drafted into politics by his mother, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. When she was assassinated in 1984, he succeeded her as prime minister. In 1987, he sent peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka in an unsuccessful attempt to end Tamil-Sinhalese violence. Following allegations of corruption, he resigned as prime minister in 1989. He was assassinated in 1991. How and by whom was he killed? More...
Today's Birthday

Mary Anning (1799)

The daughter of a British cabinetmaker who supplemented his income by selling "curiosities" he recovered from cliffside fossil beds near his home, Mary Anning grew up collecting fossils. When she was just 12 years old, she and her brother discovered the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified. As an adult, she continued the dangerous work of scouring the Lyme Regis cliffs for fossils and made a number of significant geological finds. What tongue twister might Anning have inspired? More...
Quotation of the Day
To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Today's Holiday

Anastenaria (2018)

Anastenaria is a firewalking ceremony in Greece, in the communes of Agia Eleni near Serres and of Langada near Thessalonike. Men and women, some holding red kerchiefs and some carrying icons of St. Constantine and St. Helen—in whose honor the ceremonies are held—dance barefooted on red-hot coals while folk musicians play. The custom is supposed to have originated in an ancient form of worship that was brought by travelers from Kosti in Eastern Thrace and adapted to Christian beliefs. More...
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