Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 18, 2013)
Word of the Day

astound

Definition:(verb) Affect with wonder.
Synonyms:amaze, astonish
Usage: I used to believe that nothing could astound me, but daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner proved me wrong when he jumped from a balloon 24 miles above the Earth.
Article of the Day

Mahabodhi Temple

Siddhartha Gautama, the man who would come to be revered as Buddha, was a prince who lived a sheltered life of luxury until he left his palace and witnessed real-world suffering. Renouncing his wealth, he became a wandering ascetic and is said to have gained enlightenment while meditating under a bodhi tree. A few hundred years later, around 250 BCE, Mahabodhi Temple, or "Great Awakening Temple," was built on the site. Who initiated the restoration of the Bodh Gaya, India, temple in the 1880s? More...
This Day in History

Earthquake Destroys Basel, Switzerland (1356)

Estimated to have been greater than 6.0 in magnitude, the Basel earthquake of 1356 may have been the most serious seismological event in the recorded history of central Europe. The main earthquake struck around 10 PM. In the Swiss city of Basel, all the major buildings—including castles and churches—were destroyed by the quake and subsequent fires. Three hundred people are thought to have been killed. The event was felt across Europe, including as far away as what locations? More...
Today's Birthday

Jan Gies (1905)

When the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands forced Otto Frank to resign from his own company because he was a Jew, his friend Jan Gies nominally took over. Soon after, the Franks and several friends went into hiding in a secret annex on the company's premises. For the next two years, Jan and his wife, Miep, sustained eight people in hiding, including Otto's daughter Anne, bringing them food and supplies until they were betrayed to the Nazis. How were the Nazis responsible for the Gies' marriage? More...
Quotation of the Day
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

be (as) easy as one-two-three

To be extremely easy, simple, or intuitive; to require very little skill or effort. (Sometimes used with the numbers spelled out ("one-two-three") or written numerically ("123" or "1-2-3").) More...
Today's Holiday

Alaska Day (2017)

Alaska Day commemorates the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States on October 18, 1867. The event, which took place at Sitka, was a sad one for the Russian colonists who had already made Alaska their home. After the transfer, Alaska was eventually organized as a territory and maintained this status until it became a state on January 3, 1959. Today the lowering of the Russian flag and the raising of the Stars and Stripes is reenacted every year as part of this festival in Sitka. Other events include a parade and a period costume ball. More...
In the News

Floodgates on Their Way to Keeping Venetians' Feet Dry

High tides swamp Venice on an annual basis, but a barrier project 10 years in the making will hopefully protect the historic city from the worst of it. Billions have already been spent on the "Moses" project, and it is at least two years from completion. Some question whether the ambitious project will pay off, but planners are heartened by the first successful test of the system, in which four—of what will eventually be 78—large floodgates were raised from the seabed. More...
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