Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, December 24, 2020)
Word of the Day

hardtack

Definition:(noun) Very hard unsalted biscuit or bread; a former ship's staple.
Synonyms:pilot bread, sea biscuit
Usage: When we dock, the first thing I am going to do is toss the rest of my hardtack into the water and get myself a loaf of fresh, crusty bread at the nearest bakery.
Article of the Day

The Gyroscope

Among the unusual properties at work in gyroscopes is the resistance of a spinning object to being tilted. If set in a free-moving framework, such an object can provide a stable point of reference even if everything else around it—an airplane, for example—tilts. The effect is so strong that large gyroscopes can even prevent ships from rolling. Today, gyroscopes are used in missile guidance, automatic steering, and video game technology. What toys, besides tops, work with gyroscopic effects? More...
This Day in History

Christmas Island Discovered by Captain James Cook (1777)

Though Captain James Cook was certainly not the first person to set foot on Christmas Island—the atoll had been visited by native Pacific Islanders in the past—it was uninhabited when he found it. Both the UK and US later laid claim to the atoll, and they vied for power there for the next 100 years or so, until it gained independence as part of the 33-island Republic of Kiribati and was renamed Kiritimati. Before it gained independence, the US and UK used the atoll as a testing ground for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Kit Carson (1809)

Carson was an American frontiersman, trapper, scout, Indian agent, and soldier. He ran away from home as a teen to join an expedition to the Southwest, embarking on a lifetime of adventure that earned him an almost mythical status in the annals of the American West. Much to his dismay, fictionalized versions of his daring exploits were published in a series of popular novels. He was haunted by the knowledge that a lady who had been kidnapped and killed had had such a book in her possession. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
History develops, art stands still.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Today's Holiday

Christmas Eve (Japan) (2020)

In Buddhist Japan, Christmas Eve is for lovers. The day should be spent doing something extra special (expensive), and should end in a fine Tokyo hotel room, most of which have been booked since the previous January; even the cheapest rooms go for exorbitant prices. Youngsters may be treated to a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken—if their parents don't mind lining up for two hours—as many Japanese think Colonel Sanders resembles Santa Claus. Another culinary tradition is strawberry shortcake with a plastic fir tree on top. More...
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