Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, February 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

laid-back

Definition:(adjective) Unhurried and relaxed.
Synonyms:mellow
Usage: The interview was so laid-back that it felt more like I was chatting with a friend than promoting myself as a candidate for the job.
Article of the Day

The Flying Trapeze

The aerial performance art known as the flying trapeze was invented in France in 1859 by Jules Léotard, whose name became synonymous with the skintight costume in which he performed. During a performance, a "flyer" typically jumps from a high platform, using gravity to swing on the trapeze, or "fly bar." He or she may perform tricks in mid-air before being caught by a partner. Today, the popular circus act is performed above safety nets, but Léotard originally practiced above what? More...
This Day in History

Burning of the USS Philadelphia (1804)

The USS Philadelphia was a 36-gun frigate that ran aground in October 1803 while blockading the coast of Tripoli. After some consideration, the Americans decided that the ship was too powerful a weapon to remain in enemy hands and sent a party of soldiers to recapture the ship and burn it. In carrying out "the most bold and daring act of the age," the assaulting party used what ruse to sail up to the ship without arousing the suspicion of its Tripolitan guards? More...
Today's Birthday

Hugo Marie de Vries (1848)

De Vries was a Dutch botanist whose theory of biological mutation and rediscovery of Mendel's laws of heredity made possible the active investigation and universal acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution. He held that new species are formed chiefly through mutations—sudden, unpredictable, inheritable changes in an individual organism. Teaching at the University of Amsterdam, he introduced the experimental study of evolution. What important evolution-related term did he introduce to science? More...
Quotation of the Day
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

hair-splittingly

With extremely minute, unimportant, or imperceptible differences or details. (Used before an adjective.) More...
Today's Holiday

Birthday of Kim Jong-Il (2017)

The birth date of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (February 16, 1941-December 17, 2011) is marked with a two-day public holiday observed throughout the country. Large-scale public celebrations—including mass gymnastics displays, musical performances, fireworks, and military demonstrations—are centered in the capital city of Pyongyang. Special horticultural exhibitions feature the Kimjongilia, a flower cultivated to bloom around Kim's birthday. The government also often marks his birthday by allotting North Koreans extra food or electricity. More...
In the News

Meteor Explodes over Russia's Ural Mountains Injuring Many

A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday morning, sending fireballs crashing to Earth and causing a shock wave that shattered windows. More than 1,000 people were injured, mostly by flying glass. According to the Russian Academy of Sciences, the approximately 10-tonne meteor entered Earth's atmosphere traveling at a speed of at least 33,000 mph (54,000 km/h) and broke up about 18 to 32 mi (30 to 50 km) above the ground. The energy released when it did so was equal to that of a small nuclear explosion. Experts are divided on whether the event has anything to do with an asteroid that was due to pass close to Earth later in the day. More...
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