Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 05, 2014)
Word of the Day

doodad

Definition:(noun) Something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known.
Synonyms:gizmo, gubbins, thingamabob, thingamajig, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatsis, widget, doohickey, doojigger, gimmick
Usage: My twin sister and I have a special bond, so when she asks to borrow my doodad, I know exactly what she is talking about.
Article of the Day

Iambic Pentameter: Shakespeare's Rhythm

Iambic pentameter is a meter in poetry consisting of lines of five feet in which the iamb is the dominant foot. The iamb is characterized by a short, stressed syllable followed by a long, unstressed one. Shakespeare favored iambic pentameter in many of his sonnets and plays. What are examples from Shakespeare's work that feature this meter? More...
This Day in History

Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech (1946)

The phrase "Iron Curtain" refers to the political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the USSR after WWII to seal itself and its dependent eastern European allies off from contact with the West. Churchill's use of the phrase in a 1946 speech at a US college, though initially perceived as antagonistic, popularized the term. The Iron Curtain largely ceased to exist in 1990, when the communists of eastern Europe finally abandoned one-party rule. What are some earlier uses of the phrase? More...
Today's Birthday

Gerardus Mercator (1512)

Mercator was a Flemish geographer, mathematician, and cartographer who perfected the first map using the Mercator projection, the translation of the spherical earth to a two-dimensional flat plane. In it, parallels and meridians are rendered as straight lines spaced to produce an accurate ratio of latitude to longitude at any point. It permits mariners to steer a course over long distances without continually adjusting compass readings. What map-related term was coined by Mercator? More...
Quotation of the Day
One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

Idiom of the Day

barnburner

Any thing, event, or occasion that is especially exciting, impressive, and/or successful. More...
Today's Holiday

Vanuatu Custom Chiefs Day

In the island nation of Vanuatu, many islands have rejected European influence and instead prefer to live according to their traditional customs. While these customs vary widely throughout the islands, village life, subsistence farming, a belief in magic, and rule by chiefs are common. In 1977, a National Council of Chiefs was set up by the government to ensure the preservation of traditional ways of life. These tribal chiefs are honored on March 5 of each year; celebratory activities on this day include sporting events, carnivals, agricultural fairs, and arts festivals. More...
In the News

Cameras Capture Reptilian Death Match

In a battle to the death between snake and crocodile, which cold-blooded carnivore prevails? Captured on camera by local residents, a brutal, hours-long matchup between a 10-foot snake—likely a python—and a croc in Queensland's Lake Moondarra ended with the snake constricting the crocodile to death. Having bested its opponent, the snake then proceeded to drag the dead crocodile out of the water onto land and, over the course of about 15 minutes, swallow it whole. More...
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