Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 14, 2014)
Word of the Day

denigrate

Definition:(verb) To disparage; belittle.
Synonyms:derogate
Usage: He helped you a great deal on this project, so don't take all the credit and denigrate his influence.
Article of the Day

The World's Longest Escalators

The escalator has come a long way since being patented in 1859. Hong Kong's Central-Mid-Levels escalator system is one of the world's most impressive, stretching about 2,600 feet (790 m). Colombia boasts a 1,260-foot (384-m) set of escalators that transformed a 35-minute foot climb into a six-minute ride. The longest single-span escalator in the Western Hemisphere can be found in the Wheaton Metro station in Washington, DC. How long does it take riders to ascend this 230-foot (70-m) escalator? 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
Brain, n.: An apparatus with which we think we think.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

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

An Armistice in Armrest Battles

Hate bumping elbows with your neighbor on an airplane? It's among the most common traveler complaints, and one that could be remedied in 2015 by Soarigami, a plastic armrest divider. Soarigami slides onto the armrest and splits it equally between neighboring seats. Its inventors believe it will foster a pleasant travel experience for both passengers. This is a departure from other carry-on items, like the "Knee Defender," which allows a passenger to block another from reclining his or her seat—a move that caused an in-flight fracas last August. More...
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