Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, January 17, 2011)
Word of the Day

inhale

Definition:(verb) Draw in (air).
Synonyms:breathe in, inspire
Usage: Every morning they go out to the yard, close their eyes, inhale the fresh mountain air, and meditate for an hour.
Article of the Day

Akbarnama

Although he was illiterate, Akbar, the third and greatest Mughal Emperor, was a great lover of the arts and learning. His passion for knowledge led him to attract men of genius to his court, including Abulfazl, whom he commissioned to write his official biography. The three-volume work, known as the Akbarnama, contains an account of Akbar’s reign, which lasted from 1556 to 1605; a history of Akbar’s ancestors; and an administrative report of the empire. How many years did it take to complete? More...
This Day in History

Captain James Cook Crosses Antarctic Circle (1773)

An explorer, navigator, and map maker, Cook sailed the Pacific Ocean between 1768 and 1779 and, with the help of new timekeeping instruments, drew the first accurate navigational maps of the area. He became the one of the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle as well as the first European to land on the Hawaiian islands, where he may have been identified by native Hawaiians as the representation of their god Lono. How did this misunderstanding contribute to his death? More...
Today's Birthday

Benjamin Franklin (1706)

Regarded as one of the most extraordinary public servants in American history, Franklin was also a printer, publisher, author, scientist, and inventor. After gaining popularity as the publisher of Poor Richard's Almanack, he promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library and a fire department. In 1776, he went to France to seek aid for the American Revolution, and in 1787 he was instrumental in the adoption of the US Constitution. What musical instrument did he invent? More...
Quotation of the Day
As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Today's Holiday

Underwater Tug-of-War Festival

It's not the Polar Bear Swim, but the annual tug-of-war in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, does involve people jumping into cold waters in the middle of winter. Legend has it that a huge snake once menaced the waters of Hiruga Lake, which opens out into the Sea of Japan. The people drove the snake away by taking a huge rope into the water. Today, young men struggle in a tug-of-war while standing in the lake. The rope symbolizes the snake, and the tug-of-war continues until the rope is pulled apart or cut in two. The event also serves as a ritual appealing for a good fishing season. More...
In the News

Neanderthals Were Omnivores, Not Carnivores

A new study of Neanderthal remains reveals that they cooked and ate plants and vegetables. This is the first study to provide evidence that the Neanderthal diet was not confined to meat and was in fact more sophisticated than previously thought. Researchers found grains of plant material in the teeth of Neanderthal skeletons excavated from Shanidar Cave in Iraq and Spy Cave in Belgium, and some of the samples appear to have been cooked. More...
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