Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 17, 2012)
Word of the Day

friable

Definition:(adjective) Easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder.
Synonyms:crumbly
Usage: The men disturbed the loose, friable earth of the slope ... disclosing human bones already nearly uncovered by the action of water and frost.
Article of the Day

Pike and Shot

Though the earliest guns were developed in the 14th century, they did not immediately replace all other weapons. Rather, the armies of Europe began using combined formations in which troops armed with newfangled firearms—"shot"—fought alongside those with large, reliable spears—"pike." Known as "pike and shot," the technique represented a transitional period in the history of warfare. By the end of the 17th century, pikes had been replaced by bayonets. When did US troops carry pikes into battle? More...
This Day in History

Prime Minister of Australia Disappears (1967)

Harold Holt was an Australian political leader who served in a number of cabinet positions before becoming prime minister in 1966, upon the retirement of Robert Gordon Menzies, whom Holt succeeded as Liberal party leader. During his short tenure, he increased the number of Australian troops in South Vietnam, a policy that caused controversy. He disappeared while swimming in rough surf in 1967 and is believed to have drowned. What Australian urban legends are based on Holt's disappearance? More...
Today's Birthday

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807)

Whittier was an American Quaker poet and reformer. He had little formal education but was an avid reader, and he published his first volume of poems in 1831. He declared himself an abolitionist in 1833 and worked to promote the cause as a politician, poet, and editor of antislavery periodicals. After slavery was abolished in the US, he turned his focus to writing poems that vividly portray rural New England life. Which of his poems was mistakenly attributed to Ethan Allen for nearly sixty years? More...
Quotation of the Day
Eulogy, n.: Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Posadas (2015)

This nine-day Christmas celebration in Mexico commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus) took to Bethlehem. Reenacting their search for shelter (posada in Spanish) in which Jesus might be born, a group of "pilgrims" will knock on someone's door and ask the owner to let them in. The master of the house finally invites them to enter and the Posadas party begins. Children are blindfolded and given a chance to break a piñata by swinging at it with a stick. The posadas are repeated for nine evenings, the last occurring on Christmas Eve. More...
In the News

NTSB Advocates Technological Solution to Drunk Driving Problem

Drunk driving in the US may soon be a thing of the past. Driver alcohol detection system for safety (DADSS) technology does yet not come standard in vehicles, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is encouraging automakers to persist in developing the promising technology, which would check the sobriety of anyone who gets behind the wheel. In addition, the NTSB is now recommending that ignition interlock devices be required for every driver convicted of driving under the influence. Currently, only 17 states require the device for first-time offenders, but the NTSB thinks that should be expanded nationwide. More...
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