Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 14, 2011)
Word of the Day

rappel

Definition:(verb) Lower oneself with a rope coiled around the body from a mountainside.
Synonyms:abseil, rope down
Usage: She decided to try and overcome her fear of heights by learning to rappel.
Article of the Day

The Diving Bell

The diving bell was an early diving submersible used for underwater exploration, sponge fishing, and salvaging sunken cargo. It consisted of a bottomless chamber connected to a compressed-air hose that would both refresh the air inside the chamber and maintain enough pressure to keep water from filling it as it descended. In the 16th century, inventor Guglielmo de Lorena created and used what is considered the first modern diving bell. What 4th-century philosopher first described such a device? More...
This Day in History

The Storming of the Bastille (1789)

The Bastille was a 14th-century fortress and a notorious state prison in Paris. In 1789, an angry mob stormed the prison, freeing the political prisoners held in the edifice that had come to symbolize the French monarchy's oppression of the people. The assault launched the French Revolution. Although the building itself was razed a year later, the Bastille became a symbol of French independence, and July 14th became a national holiday. How many prisoners were in the Bastille when it was stormed? More...
Today's Birthday

Owen Wister (1860)

Wister was an American author who is best remembered for his contributions to western fiction. A well-to-do Harvard graduate, he suffered from ill health and summered in the American West, where he gained much inspiration for his writings. His popular 1902 novel The Virginian is regarded as the first western. It tells the tale of a cattle rancher who depends on a harsh code of ethics, and it helped establish the cowboy as an American folk hero. To whom is the book dedicated? More...
Quotation of the Day
Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

faster than you can say Jack Robinson

Extremely quickly; almost immediately; suddenly or in a very short space of time. More...
Today's Holiday

Tekakwitha Feast Day (2017)

The first Native American to be beatified, Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) is a venerated figure among both Catholics and Native Americans. Catholic churches hold mass on her feast day, during which congregants may offer prayers to God through her intercession. Among the North American churches and shrines, sites that have noteworthy feast day celebrations are the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York, where she first encountered Christianity; and the Kateri Center at the Saint Francis-Xavier Mission at Kahnawake, Quebec, where she lived following her conversion. More...
In the News

Three Bombings in Mumbai Kill 21

A series of three bombings that took place just minutes apart in Mumbai, Ind ia's most populous city, yesterday evening has claimed the lives of at least 21 people and injured 141 others. Though there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the close timing of the blasts has led authorities to conclude that this was indeed a coordinated attack. This was the first major attack on the city since the 2008 Mumbai siege, in which 166 people were killed over a three-day period, and the worst the country has suffered since that time. More...
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