Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 14, 2013)
Word of the Day

glutton

Definition:(noun) A person who eats and drinks excessively or voraciously.
Synonyms:gourmand, gorger, gannet, gobbler, pig
Usage: He is a real glutton when it comes to junk food, but somehow he stays skinny as a toothpick.
Article of the Day

Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys had already pioneered California rock—guitar-oriented songs about girls and surfing—when Brian Wilson resolved to create "the greatest rock album ever made." Wilson's new arrangements, full of sweeping harmonies and sounds ranging from the electro-theremin to the bicycle bell, made up the 1966 album Pet Sounds. Its songs—including "God Only Knows" and "You Still Believe in Me"—shocked his bandmates but enthralled listeners. What album inspired Wilson's creative quest? 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
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

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

Aspartame Deemed Safe

Ever since the sugar substitute aspartame came on the market in the 1980s, it has been dogged by rumors that it causes a host of adverse health effects. Over the years, it has been blamed for everything from premature births to cancer to behavioral problems in children. Yet, a comprehensive study by the European Food Safety Authority concludes that the sweetener is safe at current consumption levels and poses no health danger, except to those who suffer from a rare genetic defect known as phenylketonuria. More...
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