Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 06, 2014)
Word of the Day

prevaricate

Definition:(verb) To stray from or evade the truth; equivocate.
Synonyms:beat around the bush, palter, tergiversate
Usage: At the press conference, the politician continued to prevaricate on the issue rather than provide a direct answer.
Article of the Day

Basket Weaving

Basketry is the ancient art of weaving flexible materials to form vessels or other objects. Baskets used for storing grain in 4000 or 5000 BCE have been excavated in Egypt, and the tombs of Etruria have yielded ancient specimens that, along with much later Roman baskets, display weaving strokes still in use. There are many commercial basket-weaving establishments today, but basketry remains a popular home industry. How were baskets used to transport vital information during the World Wars? More...
This Day in History

The Halifax Explosion (1917)

In 1917, a French munitions vessel carrying thousands of pounds of explosives collided with a Norwegian relief vessel in the port city of Halifax—capital of Nova Scotia, Canada, and a major wartime shipping point. The munitions ship caught fire and exploded a short time later with greater force than any man-made explosion before it, destroying the northern part of the city, killing some 1,800 people, and injuring about 9,000 more. What happened the next day that compounded the loss of life? More...
Today's Birthday

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778)

Gay-Lussac was a French chemist and physicist who showed that all gases expand by the same fraction of their volume for a given temperature increase—which led to the devising of a new temperature scale whose thermodynamic significance was later established by Lord Kelvin. By taking measurements from a balloon above 20,000 feet (6,000 m), he concluded that Earth's magnetic intensity and atmospheric composition were constant to that altitude. Gay-Lussac also helped to discover what element? More...
Quotation of the Day
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Today's Holiday

St. Nicholas's Day (Greece) (2015)

As the patron saint of ships and seamen, St. Nicholas is very important to the Greeks, so many of whom have traditionally made their living at sea. Many Greek ships, from the smallest fishing boat to the largest commercial vessel, carry an icon of the saint on board. Seamen honor St. Nicholas on his feast day, which falls at a time of year when storms grow more frequent, by burning a light before his icon and saying prayers for the safety of their boat or ship. More...
In the News

An iPhone that Always Lands on Its Feet?

Future generations of iPhones might have cat-like reflexes—and fewer cracked screens—thanks to a newly patented system by Apple that would allow the devices to land harmlessly when dropped. The proposed technology would employ the iPhone's GPS, gyroscope, and accelerometer to detect the speed and angle at which it is falling and then reorient the device to land on its back or side, rather than on its screen. Apple is not alone in developing protection methods for smartphone accidents. In 2012, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos patented a system of tiny airbags that would deploy from a dropped phone. More...
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