Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, October 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

lacing

Definition:(noun) The act of inflicting corporal punishment with repeated blows.
Synonyms:whacking, beating, drubbing, licking, thrashing, trouncing
Usage: If my mother ever caught me smoking, I would get the lacing of a lifetime.
Article of the Day

Aurochs

The probable ancestors of modern cattle, aurochs once inhabited forests in Northern Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia. The enormous—having a shoulder height of around 6 ft (1.8 m)—horned, black oxen are depicted in prehistoric cave paintings, and the species endured until the 17th century, when the last known aurochs died in Poland. Breeders have since tried to recreate the extinct species, but none have yet managed to produce a genetically identical animal. What has arisen from their efforts? More...
This Day in History

Cardiff Giant "Uncovered" in New York (1869)

One of the most famous hoaxes in American history, the Cardiff Giant was a gypsum statue passed off as a petrified prehistoric man. It was the creation of businessman George Hull, who had the figure sculpted, artificially weathered, buried, and dug up. After charging fascinated onlookers to view the figure, Hull sold the giant, which was so popular that P.T. Barnum even had an unauthorized copy of it made. What much-repeated aphorism was coined in reference to those paying to see Barnum's giant? More...
Today's Birthday

Noah Webster (1758)

Webster was an American lexicographer. After serving in the American Revolution, he published The Elementary Spelling Book, or "Blue-Backed Speller," which helped standardize American spelling and sold some 100 million copies. In 1807, he began work on his landmark American Dictionary of the English Language, which included definitions of 70,000 words—of which 12,000 had never appeared in a dictionary before. How many languages did he learn while compiling the dictionary? More...
Quotation of the Day
One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever.

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924)

Today's Holiday

World Food Day (2015)

Proclaimed in 1979 by the conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, World Food Day is designed to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and to promote cooperation in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. October 16 is the anniversary of the founding of the FAO in Rome, Italy, in 1945. More...
In the News

Hail Yes!

Forget the Emerald City; on Saturn and Jupiter it is all about the diamonds. A team of US researchers is positing that lightning storms in the gas giants' upper atmospheres turn methane into soot, which hardens into graphite and then diamond as it falls. Tons of diamond hailstones may rain down on the planets each year, and while most are likely about a centimeter in diameter, some could best be described as "diamondbergs." Alas, these sparklers are not "forever." As the diamonds reach certain depths, the pressure and temperature become so great that they likely melt into a liquid carbon sea. More...
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