Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 14, 2011)
Word of the Day

enchantress

Definition:(noun) A woman who is considered to be dangerously seductive.
Synonyms:femme fatale, temptress, Delilah, siren
Usage: Though his wife stood lovingly by his side all evening, he had eyes only for the enchantress in the emerald dress whose every look, movement, and breath seemed to beckon him.
Article of the Day

Tonsure

Tonsure is the practice in some Christian churches and other religious orders of cutting some of the hair from the scalps of clerics. In the West, the tonsure consisted of a circular patch on the crown of the head that was kept bald. Different religious orders had different tonsures: some kept the entire head shaved above the ears; others retained a broad band of hair around the head. The Catholic Church abolished the practice in 1972. What modern religious organizations still practice tonsure? More...
This Day in History

World's Tallest Vehicular Bridge Formally Dedicated (2004)

The Millau Viaduct is the world's highest road bridge, peaking at a height of 1,125 ft (343 m) and stretching across 8,071 ft (2,460 m). Designed by British architect Norman Foster and French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux, the cable-stayed, multispan steel structure crosses the Tarn River near the town of Millau in southern France. After more than a decade of planning and construction, the bridge was inaugurated by French president Jacques Chirac in 2004. How much did it cost to build? More...
Today's Birthday

Tycho Brahe (1546)

Kidnapped by his uncle when he was a toddler and raised to be a scholar, Brahe went on to become the most prominent astronomer of the late 16th century. After inheriting his father's and uncle's estates, he built a small observatory and, in 1572, discovered and studied a supernova. Funded by Denmark's King Frederick II, he built a larger observatory and accurately charted the positions of some 777 fixed stars. His observations provided the basis for the laws of planetary motion derived by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Today's Holiday

Halcyon Days (2015)

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the "Halcyon Days." Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx's wife and one of Aeolus's daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression "halcyon days" has come to mean a period of tranquillity, often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More...
In the News

Man Hurls Grenades, Shoots Shoppers in Belgian City

Armed with hand grenades, a revolver, and an assault rifle, a man once convicted for illegal weapons possession and drug offenses attacked crowds of Christmas shoppers in the Belgian city of Liège yesterday, killing at least three and injuring more than 100 others before taking his own life. The attack took place near a bus stop at Place Saint Lambert, a central shopping area that hosts an annual Christmas market and is the site of a main courthouse building. Two teenage boys and a 75-year-old woman were confirmed dead. A number of others are listed in critical condition, and the death toll is expected to rise. More...
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