Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 17, 2013)
Word of the Day

inauthentic

Definition:(adjective) Intended to deceive.
Synonyms:spurious
Usage: Jim congratulated me on my promotion, but his inauthentic excitement did little to mask his jealousy.
Article of the Day

Frigg

One of the most important goddesses of Norse mythology and Germanic religion, Frigg is the patron of marriage, fertility, and the household. Though many stories depict her as a devoted mother, others stress her loose morals. Due to her resemblance to the Roman goddess Venus, the Latin day of Venus came to be known as Frigg's day—or Friday—in Germanic countries. According to legend, Frigg's son Baldr was killed after she inadvertently revealed the one thing that could harm him. What was it? 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
Civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

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

Cat Burglar Indeed!

Police in Brazil are trying to solve an unusual mystery, and the perpetrator in this case isn't talking—because it's a cat! On New Year's Day, guards at a prison in Arapiraca noticed a cat wrapped in tape entering through the prison's main gate. Upon closer examination, they found a saw, a mobile phone, drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries, and a phone charger all adhered to its body. Following the ordeal, the unfortunate feline was sent for medical care. Investigators have yet to determine who is responsible for the audacious smuggling attempt. More...
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