Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
Word of the Day

fecundity

Definition:(noun) The quality of something that causes or assists healthy growth.
Synonyms:fruitfulness
Usage: The island is famous for its fecundity and exports tropical fruits to countries around the globe.
Article of the Day

The Estates-General of 1789

The Estates-General was a legislative assembly made up of the three classes of French subjects—clergy, nobility, and commoners. King Louis XVI summoned them in 1789 to solve the financial crisis facing his government. However, rather than pass his proposed fiscal reforms, they began airing their many grievances, chiefly their frustrations with the voting process. In an act that kindled the French Revolution, members of the third estate then formed an assembly of their own and vowed to do what? More...
This Day in History

The Phoenix Lights: Aliens or Air Force? (1997)

In 1997, thousands of people reported a series of optical phenomena—since known as the Phoenix Lights—taking place in the skies over the US states of Arizona and Nevada. The sightings consisted of two events: a triangular formation of lights observed passing overhead and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area. Although the US Air Force identified the second group of lights as flares, many believe the first set of lights were those of a UFO, including what notable politician? More...
Today's Birthday

Percival Lowell (1855)

Lowell was an astronomer who built a private observatory in Arizona to study Mars and championed the idea that intelligent inhabitants of the Red Planet had constructed a planetwide system of irrigation there. He believed that the so-called canals of Mars were bands of cultivated vegetation dependent on this irrigation. His theory, long vigorously opposed, was finally put to rest by images taken by the US Mariner spacecrafts. Lowell did, however, correctly predict the existence of what "planet"? More...
Quotation of the Day
Why is it that when you awake to the world of realities you nearly always feel, sometimes very vividly, that the vanished dream has carried with it some enigma which you have failed to solve?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Idiom of the Day

bring a knife to a gunfight

To come poorly prepared or equipped for some task, goal, competition, or confrontation. Often used in the negative as a forewarning or piece of advice. More...
Today's Holiday

Omizutori Matsuri

Omizutori Matsuri is marked by religious rites that have been observed for 12 centuries at the Buddhist Todaiji Temple in the city of Nara, Japan. During this period of meditative rituals, the drone of recited sutras and the sound of blowing conches echo from the temple. On March 12, young monks on the temple gallery brandish burning pine-branches, shaking off burning pieces. Spectators below try to catch the sparks, believing they have magic power against evil. On March 13, the ceremony of drawing water is observed to the accompaniment of ancient music. More...
In the News

US Soldier's Shooting Rampage in Kandahar Draws Fury

Anti-American sentiment is running high in Afghanistan following the killing of 16 civilians in their homes by an American soldier. Among the dead are nine children and three women. Eleven of the victims were found in a single home. The soldier believed to be responsible for the killings is in custody, and an investigation is underway. The attack comes just weeks after US soldiers' burning of copies of the Qur'an provoked outrage and has prompted new calls for the US to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan. More...
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