Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 10, 2013)
Word of the Day

cutpurse

Definition:(noun) A thief who steals from the pockets or purses of others in public places.
Synonyms:pickpocket, dip
Usage: The heartless cutpurse targets commuters on crowded subways and buses, stealing from those who appear distracted or tired.
Article of the Day

Nehushtan

According to the Hebrew Scriptures, God sent poisonous serpents to bite the Israelites for speaking against him and Moses. When Moses prayed for help on the people’s behalf, God advised him make the Nehushtan—a bronze serpent set upon a pole—which would cure the snakebites of anyone who looked upon it. The Talmud asserts that it was not the act of looking up at the snake that cured victims but of looking up at God. Eventually, however, the Nehushtan became an object of worship. Who destroyed it? More...
This Day in History

First Great Texas Oil Gusher Discovered at Spindletop (1901)

In 1892, a company was formed in Texas to investigate long-held suspicions that oil might be under an area known as Spindletop Hill. After nine years of exploratory drilling, oil was struck at a depth of 1,139 ft (347 m), resulting in the "Lucas Gusher," which blew oil more than 150 ft (46 m) in the air. The well produced an estimated 100,000 barrels per day, marking what many consider the birth of the modern petroleum industry. What now well-known companies were involved in the find? More...
Today's Birthday

Margaret of Austria (1480)

Daughter of Emperor Maximilian I, Margaret was a Hapsburg princess and regent of the Netherlands. When she was three, she was betrothed to French dauphin and future King Charles VIII, who later renounced the agreement and married Anne of Brittany. In 1497, she married John of Spain—son of Ferdinand and Isabella—but he died later that year. In 1501, she married Philibert of Savoy; he died in 1504. In 1507, she was made regent of the Netherlands and guardian of what future Holy Roman Emperor? More...
Quotation of the Day
It does make a difference what you call things.

Kate Wiggin (1856-1923)

Today's Holiday

Benin National Vodoun Day

Vodoun is an ancient African pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as "Voodoo." The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. This day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration's central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor. More...
In the News

Massive Prisoner Swap in Syria, Thousands Set Free

More than 2,100 civilian prisoners incarcerated by the Syrian authorities were released yesterday in exchange for the freeing of 48 Iranians held hostage by rebel fighters since August. The rebels claimed that the captives were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on a mission to aid the Assad regime, but Iran denied these allegations and maintained that the men were merely religious pilgrims. Both Turkey and Qatar reportedly played a role in brokering the prisoner exchange, which was months in the making. More...
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