Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 12, 2012)
Word of the Day

misadventure

Definition:(noun) An instance of misfortune.
Synonyms:mischance, mishap
Usage: D'Artagnan ran home immediately, and although it was three o'clock in the morning and he had some of the worst quarters of Paris to traverse, he met with no misadventure.
Article of the Day

The Socialite Serial Killer

According to New Orleans legend, socialite Delphine LaLaurie was a serial killer who tortured and murdered slaves in her home. Though the more gruesome accounts of her activities remain unverified, her cruelty was documented in at least one instance. In April of 1834, a fire at her mansion led to the discovery of seven slaves chained together inside, mutilated but alive. LaLaurie is said to have escaped to Paris. Which Hollywood actor later bought the LaLaurie house, then lost it? More...
This Day in History

Iron Lung Used for the First Time (1928)

Invented by engineer Philip Drinker, an iron lung is a device that can produce artificial respiration for extended periods of time. It consists of an airtight metal tank that encloses nearly the entire body and forces the lungs to inhale and exhale by regulating changes in air pressure. Developed for the treatment of coal gas poisoning and first used to save an unconscious child in respiratory failure, the device was eventually most widely used for the treatment of what disease? More...
Today's Birthday

Ramsay MacDonald (1866)

MacDonald was the first Labour Party prime minister of Britain, serving in 1924, from 1929 to 1931, and again as part of a coalition government from 1931 to 1935. He joined the precursor of the Labour Party in 1894 and served as its first secretary. MacDonald was elected to Parliament in 1906 and was leader of the Labour party there from 1911 to 1914, until he was forced to resign for opposing participation in WWI. From what other organization was MacDonald expelled for his pacifist stance? More...
Quotation of the Day
It ill becomes you to assail one who cannot defend himself.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Today's Holiday

Feast of the Virgin of the Pillar (2015)

According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. James the Apostle when he was in Saragossa (Zaragoza), Spain. She spoke to him from the top of a pillar, which he interpreted as a sign that he should build a chapel where the column stood. The Feast of the Virgin of the Pillar is observed with special masses and processions, such as the Gigantes—giant cardboard and canvas figures representing Spanish kings and queens or famous literary and historical figures—and the cabezudos, or "big heads"—grotesque puppets with huge heads. More...
In the News

Forget Gold, Planet Whose Streets Are Paved with Diamonds

Astronomers believe that a planet 40 light years away in the constellation of Cancer could be a "diamond planet." Discovered in 2004 orbiting a sun-like star, 55 Cancri e has been the focus of much study, and recent analysis indicates that it is likely composed largely of carbon, in the form of diamond and graphite, rather than water and granite. The planet is eight times more massive than Earth, and about three Earth masses worth could be made of diamond. More...
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