Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, January 28, 2013)
Word of the Day

well-disposed

Definition:(adjective) Inclined to help or support; not antagonistic or hostile.
Synonyms:friendly, favorable
Usage: Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humored, well-disposed girl.
Article of the Day

Antichess

Also known as suicide chess or loser's chess, antichess is a variation on the traditional game, but one in which the objective is to get all of one's own pieces captured. Participants are compelled to capture an opponent's pieces whenever the opportunity arises, while earnestly attempting to maneuver their own pieces into hopelessly vulnerable positions. There is no check or checkmate. A player wins by losing all of his or her pieces, including the king. How can a stalemate be resolved? More...
This Day in History

Horace Walpole Coins the Word "Serendipity" (1754)

Defined as the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident, the word "serendipity" was first coined in 1754 by English author Horace Walpole in one of his more than 3,000 letters. In it, he explains that the root of his new word is taken from "The Three Princes of Serendip," a Persian fairytale about princes who "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of." Who was the recipient of Walpole's letter introducing "serendipity"? More...
Today's Birthday

Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz (1890)

Stroud was a convicted murderer serving time in prison when he came across some injured sparrows in the Leavenworth prison yard. He kept the birds and soon began raising canaries, which he could sell for supplies and to help support his mother. Using equipment furnished by a new warden, Stroud created an aviary and became an expert in avian pathology, writing two books on the subject and developing a cure for hemorrhagic septicemia. How much of his sentence was spent in solitary confinement? More...
Quotation of the Day
If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Idiom of the Day

cat's pajamas

Something or someone highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive, especially in a fancy or elaborate way. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. More...
Today's Holiday

NASA Day of Remembrance

NASA established the Day of Remembrance to honor those who have died in America's space program. The day focuses on those who died in three NASA space tragedies: the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967; the Shuttle Challenger disaster of January 28, 1986; and the Shuttle Columbia tragedy of February 1, 2003. The day also remembers NASA employees who died in training and maintenance accidents. NASA observes the day with a roll call of all those who have died; at Cape Canaveral in Florida, a moment of silence is observed at noon. More...
In the News

Earth Safe from 2036 Asteroid Pass

If NASA scientists are correct, we can all breathe a little bit easier, because a 1,000-foot- (300-meter-) wide asteroid will not be hitting the Earth in 2036. When it was first discovered in 2004, astronomers calculated the odds of the near-Earth asteroid Apophis striking the planet in 2029 to be an alarming one in 45. Improved calculations later lowered the odds to one in 200,000 and pushed off the possible impact date to April 13, 2036. Now, however, new radar data indicate that there is no chance of collision. Instead, the asteroid will harmlessly pass us at a distance of at least 19,260 mi (31,000 km). More...
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