Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, February 05, 2015)
Word of the Day

baneful

Definition:(adjective) Causing harm, ruin, or death; harmful.
Synonyms:pernicious, pestilent, deadly
Usage: He instructed him in the poisonous qualities of arsenic, and furnished him with an ample supply of that baneful drug.
Article of the Day

Special Effects

Often relied upon heavily in the science fiction and action genres, special effects are techniques used in film and television to portray scenes that cannot be achieved by normal means, such as space travel. Common examples are the use of rear-screen projections, in which previously photographed material is projected behind the actors; the filming of miniature objects in such a way as to make them look larger; and the use of animation. What are "live" special effects? More...
This Day in History

Royal Greenwich Observatory Begins Broadcasting Hourly Time Signals (1924)

The Greenwich Time Signal, popularly known as "the pips," is a series of six short tones broadcast by many BBC radio stations at the end of each hour to mark the precise start of the following hour. Devised by Astronomer Royal Frank Dyson in 1924, the signal consists of six pips that occur on the five seconds leading up to the hour, with the beginning of the sixth pip marking the actual moment when the hour changes. After nearly 90 years of marking time, why might the pips soon be silenced? More...
Today's Birthday

Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840)

Mechanically gifted, Maxim learned several trades as a young man. He obtained his first patent, for a hair-curling iron, in 1866. By 1884, working in London, he had produced a devastatingly effective automatic machine gun capable of firing 660 rounds per minute. Every major power adopted the Maxim gun. The company he established to manufacture his invention, with several mergers, eventually became the British defense firm, Vickers Ltd. What were some of Maxim's "flying machines"? More...
Quotation of the Day
Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies moldering before him?

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

23 skidoo

To clear out or get away in haste before getting into or causing trouble, referring either to oneself or to another. "23" may refer to the Flatirons Building in New York City (located on 23rd Street), around which great winds tend to blow. It may also derive from an older use meaning to tell someone to clear out of one's way. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

San Marino Liberation Day (2016)

In 1739, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni invaded the Republic of San Marino and occupied the country. The people of San Marino protested the occupation and appealed to the Vatican; the Pope recognized the rights of San Marino and, on February 5, 1740, he restored the country's independence. Today, San Marino celebrates Liberation Day on February 5 to mark the anniversary of their independence. As part of the celebration, there is a public procession from the city of Borgo Maggiore to the capital city of San Marino proper. In addition, various civic celebrations take place throughout the day. More...
In the News

Harper Lee to Publish Second Novel

Harper Lee has announced that she will publish her second novel in 2015, a sequel of sorts to her beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee completed the manuscript, titled Go Set a Watchman, in the 1950s, but her editor persuaded her to more fully explore the childhood of the book's main character, Scout, which resulted in To Kill a Mockingbird—until now, her only novel. Lee, now 88, became reacquainted with the manuscript when her lawyer came upon it last year. More...
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