Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, October 06, 2012)
Word of the Day

affiance

Definition:(verb) To bind in a pledge of marriage; betroth.
Synonyms:plight, engage
Usage: I have been affianced to a fine young man and am looking forward to my upcoming nuptials.
Article of the Day

Penny-Farthing

Popular in the 1880s, prior to the development of the so-called safety bicycle, the penny-farthing was an early bicycle with a large front wheel and a comparatively tiny rear one. Perched on a seat above the front wheel, the rider was unable to touch the ground with his or her feet. "Taking a header" was a constant danger, so some riders put their feet over the handlebars when coasting downhill to ensure that any fall forward would be feetfirst. How did one go about mounting such a contraption? More...
This Day in History

The Jazz Singer Premieres (1927)

In the 1920s, filmmakers began experimenting with sound effects and music in films. With about 15 minutes of dialogue and songs, The Jazz Singer was the first feature-length film to have synchronized dialogue. Based on the earlier stage play, the film was a landmark in the history of motion pictures, and its release heralded the commercial ascendance of "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. The first all-talking picture was released a year later. What was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Henri Christophe (1767)

A freed slave, Christophe was a Haitian revolutionary leader who was army chief under Jean-Jacques Dessalines. When Dessalines declared himself emperor, Christophe took part in a successful plot against his life and was elected president of the republic. In 1811, Christophe declared himself king of North Haiti—as Henri I—and created an autocracy patterned after the absolute monarchies of Europe. Engaging in a tyrannical reign, Christophe surrounded himself with lavish wealth. How did he die? More...
Quotation of the Day
He who throws away a friend is as bad as he who throws away his life.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)

Today's Holiday

German-American Day (2015)

Descendants of the earliest German settlers have observed October 6 as German Pioneer Day or German Settlement Day since 1908, but it wasn't until 1987 that October 6 was formally designated German-American Day by President Ronald Reagan. It is often observed by attending events that promote an understanding of the contributions of German immigrants—for example, lectures on German history, art, music, and literature; exhibits featuring German artifacts; performances of German music; and church services that acknowledge German-American members of the congregation. More...
In the News

Great Barrier Reef's Coral Crisis

In less than three decades, the Great Barrier Reef, considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, has lost half of its coral cover. Experts attribute the losses largely to tropical cyclones and outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish. Coral bleaching due to ocean warming also played a role, though a relatively minor one. Given some time, damaged reefs can generally recover, but current intervals between these disturbances are too brief to allow for meaningful recovery, resulting in long-term losses. More...
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