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Friday, February 5, 2016 | View Archive | Save / Send this Page ?
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Word of the Day



Definition: (noun) Something, such as a skin or peel, that has been pared off.
Synonyms:shaving, sliver
Usage:We do not mourn over the parings of our nails nor the cut locks of our hair, though they were once part of ourselves. Discuss.

Article of the Day


Rose Windows

These circular windows, often found in medieval churches and Gothic architecture, are generally ornamented with stained glass and stone tracery laid out in round, radiating, shaft patterns. Since the pattern often resembles a rose with radiating petals, the term “rose window” is often misattributed to the flower; in fact, the 17th century name likely stems from the Old French word roué, meaning wheel. What role did the crusaders play in the spread of this decorative window style? More... Discuss

This Day in History


Royal Greenwich Observatory Begins Broadcasting Hourly Time Signals (1924)

The Greenwich Time Signal, popularly known as "the pips," is a series of six short tones broadcast by many BBC radio stations at the end of each hour to mark the precise start of the following hour. Devised by Astronomer Royal Frank Dyson in 1924, the signal consists of six pips that occur on the five seconds leading up to the hour, with the beginning of the sixth pip marking the actual moment when the hour changes. After nearly 90 years of marking time, why might the pips soon be silenced? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840)

Mechanically gifted, Maxim learned several trades as a young man. He obtained his first patent, for a hair-curling iron, in 1866. By 1884, working in London, he had produced a devastatingly effective automatic machine gun capable of firing 660 rounds per minute. Every major power adopted the Maxim gun. The company he established to manufacture his invention, with several mergers, eventually became the British defense firm, Vickers Ltd. What were some of Maxim's "flying machines"? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance.

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) Discuss


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adj. inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life
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Today's Holiday


San Marino Liberation Day

In 1739, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni invaded the Republic of San Marino and occupied the country. The people of San Marino protested the occupation and appealed to the Vatican; the Pope recognized the rights of San Marino and, on February 5, 1740, he restored the country's independence. Today, San Marino celebrates Liberation Day on February 5 to mark the anniversary of their independence. As part of the celebration, there is a public procession from the city of Borgo Maggiore to the capital city of San Marino proper. In addition, various civic celebrations take place throughout the day. More... Discuss


Idiom of the Day

23 skidoo

To clear out or get away in haste before getting into or causing trouble, referring either to oneself or to another. "23" may refer to the Flatirons Building in New York City (located on 23rd Street), around which great winds tend to blow. It may also derive from an older use meaning to tell someone to clear out of one's way. Primarily heard in US. More... Discuss