Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, November 25, 2013)
Word of the Day

hardtack

Definition:(noun) Very hard unsalted biscuit or bread; a former ship's staple.
Synonyms:pilot bread, sea biscuit
Usage: When we dock, the first thing I am going to do is toss the rest of my hardtack into the water and get myself a loaf of fresh, crusty bread at the nearest bakery.
Article of the Day

Literary Nonsense

Literary nonsense, or nonsense literature, uses language to defy literary conventions. Its most common form is nonsense verse, which is humorous or whimsical and features absurd characters and evocative but meaningless words. It differs from other comic verse in its resistance to any rational or allegorical interpretation. Nonsense verse emerged at the beginning of the 19th century and has been mostly written for children. What poem is likely the best known example of literary nonsense? More...
This Day in History

Anti-Comintern Pact Signed by Germany and Japan (1936)

The German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact was one of a series of agreements leading to the formation of the Axis Powers. Ostensibly directed against the Comintern, an association of national communist parties that degenerated under Stalin into an instrument of Soviet politics, the pact contained a secret agreement stating that if either signatory power went to war with the USSR, the other would maintain a benevolent neutrality. What other countries eventually signed the treaty? More...
Today's Birthday

Karl Benz (1844)

Benz was a German engineer credited with building the first automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine. His Motorwagen, the first commercial automobile, was first driven in 1885 and patented the next year. It had three wheels, an electric ignition, differential gears, and was water-cooled. Benz's familiarity with and fondness for bicycles inspired the design of his "horseless carriage." According to legend, who took one of Benz's early models on the first long-distance road trip? More...
Quotation of the Day
Deep unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Today's Holiday

St. Catherine's Day (Estonia) (2015)

Estonian folklorists believe that the customs associated with Kadripäev, or St. Catherine's Day, may date back to pre-Christian times. The holiday is strongly associated with women and their traditional activities, such as herding. People dress up in light-colored clothing, symbolizing winter's snow, and visit their neighbors, singing songs and offering blessings for the family's animals. In return, householders offer them cloth, wool, or food. An old superstition connected with the day forbade such activities as shearing as a means of protecting the sheep. More...
In the News

2013 One of Hottest Years in Recorded History

The year is drawing to a close, and it is on track to be the seventh warmest on record. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) notes that weather extremes were also a trend in 2013, with typhoons, heat waves, and flooding—among other extreme weather events—causing widespread damage and loss of life. In addition, the global sea level reached a new record high, making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. Over the past century, our seas have risen by about 8 inches (20 cm). More...
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