Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 25, 2012)
Word of the Day

pitchy

Definition:(adjective) Of the blackest black; similar to the color of jet or coal.
Synonyms:sooty
Usage: The cavern was lighted for an instant…and then immediately returned to pitchy darkness rendered thicker by the smoke.
Article of the Day

Hand Grenades

The first modern, hand-thrown grenades were in use as early as the 15th century, but they fell out of favor as the increasing range and accuracy of firearms lessened opportunities for close combat. However, their effectiveness in World War I trench warfare made hand grenades a standard part of the combat infantryman's equipment once again. Though one of the more recognizable grenade models is sometimes called a "pin-and-pineapple," grenades get their name from what other fruit? More...
This Day in History

John Lennon and Yoko Ono Hold Their First Bed-In for Peace (1969)

Five days after John Lennon of the Beatles married the Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, the couple held the first of two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace as a non-violent way of protesting war and promoting peace. For the first Bed-In, the couple invited members of the press into their Amsterdam hotel room and then sat in bed and talked about peace. Months later, they held their second Bed-In in Montreal. What hit song did they record during the second Bed-In? More...
Today's Birthday

Béla Bartók (1881)

Bartók was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, and collector of folk music. In 1904, having discovered that the folk-music repertory generally accepted as Hungarian was in fact largely urban Roma—Gypsy—music, he set about researching Hungarian folk music. He worked folk themes and rhythms into his own music, achieving a style that was at once nationalistic and deeply personal. What surprising discoveries did he make in his study of folk music? More...
Quotation of the Day
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled, muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Idiom of the Day

castles in the sky

Dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic, or have very little chance of succeeding. More...
Today's Holiday

Greece Independence Day

This national holiday in Greece celebrates the anniversary of the country's proclamation of independence in 1821 after four centuries of Turkish occupation. The war that followed went on until 1829, when finally the Turkish sultan recognized the independence of Greece. The day is marked with church services and military parades—an especially impressive parade is held in Athens. Greek communities in other parts of the world also observe the day. In New York City, Greece Independence Day is celebrated on the Sunday nearest to March 25 with a parade up Fifth Avenue. More...
In the News

Venice's Sinking Slowed but Still Steady

Satellite readings show that Venice is still slowly sinking and is even tilting slightly. In the past century, Venice experienced significant subsidence as a result of groundwater extraction. Stopping the water extraction was thought to have halted the sinking process, but data show that it has simply slowed. The city is now sinking at a rate of about 0.08 in (2 mm) a year. The water level in the Venetian lagoon also rises each year by this amount, and the combined effect is a 0.16 in- (4 mm-) a-year increase in sea level with respect to the land. More...
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