Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, October 20, 2014)
Word of the Day

quaff

Definition:(verb) To swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught.
Synonyms:gulp, swig
Usage: Recently returned to port, the sailors quaffed their ale with gusto.
Article of the Day

Roxelana

The story of Roxelana is a true rags-to-riches tale. Little is known of her early life, but she was likely born in Ukraine in the 16th century. At some point, she was captured by Crimean Tatars and taken as a slave. Brought to Constantinople (now Istanbul), she was selected to be a concubine in the harem of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Roxelana soon gained Suleiman's favor and—in a shocking break with tradition—he made her his legal wife. What did this mean for the sons she bore him? More...
This Day in History

The Johnny Bright Incident (1951)

The Johnny Bright Incident was an allegedly racially-motivated on-field assault against black football star Johnny Bright by white player Wilbanks Smith during a college football game between Bright's Drake University and Smith's Oklahoma A&M. The assault—which resulted in a broken jaw for Bright—was captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo sequence. The incident highlighted the racial tensions of the times and even provoked changes in college football rules. What happened to Smith? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Christopher Wren (1632)

Though now known as the greatest architect of the English baroque style, Wren was first a celebrated astronomer and mathematician who was one of the founders of the Royal Society. His architectural career began in 1661 when King Charles II appointed him assistant to the royal architect. Wren went on to help rebuild more than 50 churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. He also designed Saint Paul's Cathedral, where he is buried. What famous epitaph appears on Wren's burial marker? More...
Quotation of the Day
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Today's Holiday

Ebisu Festival (2015)

This Japanese festival is named after Ebisu, one of the seven Japanese gods of luck, who is the protector of businessmen and fishermen. According to legend, all the other gods leave their shrines during October, which is known as "the godless month," and gather at the temple of Izumo to discuss issues of great importance. Because he is deaf, Ebisu cannot hear the summons and does not accompany them. The Ebisu Festival is a time for members of trade associations and political and literary societies to socialize. The festival is also a time to pray for prosperity. More...
In the News

Hopping Relatively Recent Development in Kangaroos

Kangaroos are known for their characteristic hop, but they didn't always get around like this. Analysis of the fossilized bones of extinct kangaroos called sthenurines finds that they were not anatomically cut out for hopping and likely got around instead by walking in much the same manner that humans do. Sthenurines lived in Australia from about 13 million years ago to about 30,000 years ago, going extinct around the same time that humans arrived on the continent, quite possibly as a result of human activities. More...
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