Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 26, 2012)
Word of the Day

varlet

Definition:(noun) A deceitful and unreliable scoundrel.
Synonyms:knave, rapscallion, rascal, rogue, scallywag
Usage: What a brazen-fac'd varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me!
Article of the Day

Ondine

In folklore, an ondine is a female water nymph who can acquire a soul by marrying a human man and bearing a child. The legend is the subject of many works of fiction, including German novelist Baron de La Motte-Fouqué's fairy tale Undine and French dramatist Jean Giraudoux's play Ondine. In some versions of the myth, Ondine curses an unfaithful partner to stop breathing if he ever falls asleep. This tale gives its name to Ondine's curse, a real medical condition involving what? More...
This Day in History

The Rum Rebellion (1808)

The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was the only successful armed takeover of government in the history of Australia. It began when New South Wales governor William Bligh was deposed by George Johnston, commander of the New South Wales Corps. The coup was a retaliation against attempts by successive governors to curb the power of the Corps and interfere with its lucrative rum trade—which gave the rebellion its name. The coup was the second time Bligh had been the victim of a rebellion. What was the first? More...
Today's Birthday

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman (1892)

Coleman was an American civil aviator who became the first female pilot of African-American descent and the first person of African-American descent to hold an international pilot license. After attaining her license in France, Coleman continued to train extensively and earned a living as a stunt pilot in air shows, earning the nickname "Queen Bess." She died in an aviation accident in 1926, but her legacy inspired countless aviators. What led to the accident that resulted in Coleman's death? More...
Quotation of the Day
All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

false friend

A phrase, word, or letter that sounds or looks similar to one in another language or dialect but has a significantly different meaning. More...
Today's Holiday

India Republic Day (2016)

This holiday is an important national festival in India, celebrating the day in 1950 when India's ties with Britain were severed and the country became a fully independent republic. The holiday is marked with parades and much celebration in all the state capitals, but the festivities in Delhi are especially grand. There is a mammoth parade with military units, floats from each state, dancers and musicians, and fly-overs. Independence Day on August 15 is also a national holiday, but it is observed chiefly with speech-making and none of the grandeur of Republic Day. More...
In the News

Frog Is World's Smallest Vertebrate

The Brazilian gold frog, Brachycephalus didactylus, and the Monte Iberia Eleuth, Eleutherodactylus iberia, have been unseated as the world's smallest frogs by the newly discovered Paedophryne amauensis. Just .27 inches (7 mm) long, the tiny frog is also the world's smallest known vertebrate, a title formerly held by a fish known as Paedocypris progenetica. After hearing what sounded like an insect's call coming from a pile of leaves on the forest floor in Papua New Guinea, researchers discovered the tiny frog that was the source of the sound. More...
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