Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 13, 2012)
Word of the Day

forfend

Definition:(verb) Prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening.
Synonyms:deflect, head off, avert, avoid, debar, obviate
Usage: Norman of Torn, if you are not the son of the old man you call father may God forfend that England ever guesses your true parentage.
Article of the Day

Caltrops

A caltrop is a metal device with four projecting spikes arranged so that when any three spikes are on the ground, the fourth points upward. It can be used to damage feet, hooves, and—more commonly nowadays—tires. The earliest recorded use of caltrops was in the 331 BCE Battle of Gaugamela. Even in the 20th century, when mechanized warfare became the norm and horses were replaced with wheeled vehicles, caltrops retained their usefulness on the battlefield. How have they been used outside of war? More...
This Day in History

Circus Acrobat Otto Witte Crowned King of Albania? (1913)

Witte was a German citizen and circus acrobat who claimed to have impersonated his way into being crowned King of Albania in 1913—by some accounts, on August 13. According to Witte, he enjoyed the royal harem and reigned for several days before being discovered as an impostor. Though he was likely lying, his story was picked up by several publications, including Time magazine. What novel may have given Witte the idea for his story, and what other novel was then based on Witte? More...
Today's Birthday

Lucy Stone (1818)

In 1847, Stone became the first Massachusetts woman to graduate college. Not long after, she began speaking on women's rights. An effective orator, she is said to have swayed antagonistic audiences and inspired Susan B. Anthony to join the cause. She kept her own name after marriage as a protest against the unequal laws applied to married women, and others who did the same called themselves "Lucy Stoners." She caused an uproar by wearing "bloomers." What were they, and why were they so named? More...
Quotation of the Day
No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

knock Anthony

obsolete To knock one's knees together while walking or running (i.e., be "knock-kneed"). More...
Today's Holiday

Jour de Fête de Ste. Genevieve (2017)

Ste. Genevieve became the first permanent settlement in the state of Missouri when the French arrived in 1725. At one time it rivaled St. Louis in size and importance, and the town still prides itself on its authentic 18th- and 19th-century architecture. The annual Jour de Fête that has been held in mid-August each year since 1965 not only celebrates the area's French heritage but is a German and Spanish festival as well. Historic homes dating back to 1770 are opened to the public, people dress in colonial costumes, and arts and crafts are on display. More...
In the News

Survivors Hope to Take a Bite out of Shark Fin Soup

One would expect survivors of shark attacks to harbor ill will toward the creatures that maimed them, but one group of survivors is doing its best to save them. As many as 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, which are used to make the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup. Samples of the soup taken from US restaurants by shark attack survivors revealed that 81 percent were made using the fins of endangered, vulnerable, or near-threatened sharks. The group hopes that this knowledge will make restaurant patrons think twice before ordering the dish. More...
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