Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 31, 2014)
Word of the Day

surfeit

Definition:(noun) An excessive amount.
Synonyms:overabundance, excess
Usage: The surfeit of goods produced caused prices to fall, hurting the economy.
Article of the Day

Castanets

Now used primarily in Spanish dance music, castanets are percussion instruments that were known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Of the many kinds, the most common consist of two small matching pieces of hard wood or ivory, joined at the inner edge and used with a thin strap in the player's hand. They are snapped together between the palm and fingers and used to produce clicks for rhythmic accents, especially to accompany dancing. What is the origin of the instrument's name? More...
This Day in History

Central African Federation Collapses (1963)

The Central African Federation was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to 1963. Created by the British government to unite the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia with the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the federation ultimately crumbled when black African nationalists demanded a greater share of power than the dominant minority white population was willing to concede. What are Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland called today? More...
Today's Birthday

Isma'il Pasha (1830)

Isma'il Pasha was appointed viceroy of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire and was involved with work on the Suez Canal. He planned but failed to unify the Nile valley by creating a new southern Egyptian province in the Sudan. Educated in Paris and sent on diplomatic missions throughout Europe, he helped to modernize Egypt before being dismissed by the sultan because of fiscal mismanagement. The enormous debt he incurred led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882. Who captured his son Hassan? More...
Quotation of the Day
You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Today's Holiday

Hogmanay (2015)

In Scotland and the northern part of England, the last day of the year is known as Hogmanay. Scottish children used to call at the homes of the wealthy on this day and ask for their traditional gift of an oatmeal cake. They would call out, "Hogmanay!" and recite traditional rhymes or sing songs in return for which they'd be given their cakes to take home. Today, Hogmanay is celebrated much as is New Year's Eve around the rest of the Western world, with street and house parties. Such fire ceremonies as torchlight processions and lighting New Year's fires are popular traditions as well. More...
In the News

Google Lists Its Top Searches of 2014

What were you searching for in 2014? Google recently released its report of the fastest-rising search requests from 2014, and the suicide of comedian Robin Williams topped the list. The actor's tragic death outranked the year's other much-discussed topics, including the Ebola outbreak, the World Cup, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the Ice Bucket Challenge—a viral campaign to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. More...
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