Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 17, 2012)
Word of the Day

enliven

Definition:(verb) To make lively or spirited.
Synonyms:animate, invigorate
Usage: They found her a charming companion, and her dancing and laughter...did much to enliven their journey and keep them contented.
Article of the Day

Men's Skirts

Outside of Western culture, men's clothing commonly includes skirts and skirt-like garments, such as the dhoti or lungi in India and the sarong in South and Southeast Asia. Some long robes also resemble a skirt or dress, including the Middle Eastern and North African caftan and djellaba. One of the most well-known skirt-like garments for men is the kilt, which is usually made of a tartan wool and is part of traditional male garb in the Scottish Highlands. What is the Utilikilt? 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
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Underwater Tug-of-War Festival (2016)

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

Double Trouble: Twin Birth Rate Soars in US

The number of twins being born in the US has doubled in the last three decades. In 1980, 68,339 twins were born in the US. By 2009, this number had passed the 137,000 mark and one in every 30 babies was born a twin. The shift is largely due to fertility treatments, though about a third of the increase has been attributed to the fact that more women are having children later in life, when they are more likely to naturally conceive multiples. Some experts are concerned about the trend, as multiple births are more dangerous for both mothers and their babies. More...
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