Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 10, 2011)
Word of the Day

portend

Definition:(verb) Indicate by signs.
Synonyms:augur, auspicate, bode, foreshadow, omen, presage, prognosticate, predict, prefigure, betoken, forecast, foretell
Usage: Comets, in Western tradition, always portend doom and gloom.
Article of the Day

Timgad

Timgad was Roman city founded by Trajan in northeast Algeria in 100 CE. The city was destroyed by Berbers in the 7th century and was unknown until excavations were begun in 1881. Today, it is popularly known as "the Pompeii of North Africa" because of its extensive, well-preserved ruins, which include a triumphal arch, public baths, a theater, a library, and a forum. For thousands of years, volcanic debris protected the ruins of Pompeii; what helped preserve the ruins of Timgad? More...
This Day in History

Henry Wirz Executed for War Crimes in American Civil War (1865)

In 1864, Wirz, a Confederate officer, became superintendent of Georgia's Andersonville prison, officially known as Camp Sumter. Providing only makeshift shelters, the prison confined tens of thousands of Union soldiers and became notorious for conditions so appalling that 13,000 of them died. Wirz was later convicted of conspiring to murder prisoners and hanged, becoming the only person executed for war crimes committed in the American Civil War. What was Wirz's occupation before the war? More...
Today's Birthday

William Hogarth (1697)

Hogarth was a British painter and engraver who began his career as an apprentice to a silversmith at the age of 15. At 22, he opened his own engraving and printing shop. His first successes were satirical engravings that attacked contemporary taste and questioned the art establishment. His efforts to protect artists against art piracy were instrumental in the passage of Britain's first copyright act in 1735. What 20th century composer wrote an opera inspired by Hogarth's Rake's Progress? More...
Quotation of the Day
Character is not cut in marble—it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Today's Holiday

Martinsfest (2015)

Martin's Festival in Germany honors both St. Martin of Tours and Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologian and leader of the Protestant Reformation. In Düsseldorf, a man dressed as St. Martin rides through the streets followed by hundreds of children. Many carry lanterns made from hollowed-out pumpkins. In Erfurt, where Martin Luther attended the university, there is a procession of children carrying lanterns. With their lanterns, the children form the "Luther rose," or the escutcheon of Martin Luther. More...
In the News

Laser Can Turn Brown Eyes Blue

A US doctor claims to have developed a laser procedure that can turn brown eyes blue. The laser causes the brown pigment on the surface of the iris to be broken down over a period of weeks in a process that is irreversible. Dr. Gregg Homer first experimented on animals and cadavers before moving on to living human subjects in Mexico. So far, 17 people have undergone the procedure, reportedly without suffering damage to their vision. Still, many experts have expressed reservations about the procedure. More...
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