Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, April 29, 2016)
Word of the Day

revetment

Definition:(noun) A facing, as of masonry, used to support an embankment.
Synonyms:stone facing
Usage: Like seawalls, revetments armor and protect the land behind them.
Article of the Day

Grapeshot

Grapeshot is a cluster of small iron balls loaded into a canvas bag and fired from a cannon. When a grapeshot-loaded cannon is fired, the balls disperse at a high velocity, causing devastation similar to that of a scaled-up shotgun. This ammunition was especially effective against infantry massed at close range and was used until the early 19th century, when it was largely replaced by metal-cased canister shot. Which pirate was killed by a blast of grapeshot? More...
This Day in History

WWII: Operation Manna Begins (1945)

During WWII, the Royal Air Force delivered 6,680 tons food into parts of the German-occupied Netherlands, with the acquiescence of the occupying forces, to feed starving Dutch citizens suffering from a famine that ultimately claimed 18,000 lives. Operation Manna, as it was called, was named for the food that the Book of Exodus says miraculously appeared for the Israelites in the wilderness. The mission ended on May 8, when Germany's surrender ended the war in Europe. How was the food delivered? More...
Today's Birthday

John Arbuthnot (1667)

Greatly admired in his time, Arbuthnot was a Scottish scientist, mathematician, and satirist. The court physician to Queen Anne, he is best remembered for his five "John Bull" pamphlets, political satires on the Whig war policy that introduced the character John Bull, a personification of England akin to the American Uncle Sam. With his friends Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay, Arbuthnot was a founding member of the famous Scriblerus Club, an organization devoted to what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

in donkeys

In an exceptionally long period of time. The phrase likely originated as the rhyming slang, shortened to simply "donkeys," of "donkey's ears" —where "ears" rhymes with "years" and alludes to the length of a donkey's ears. More...
Today's Holiday

Uesugi Matsuri

This Japanese festival, held in Yonezawa, commemorates the illustrious warrior Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578). Uesugi Kenshin is also remembered for his role in a series of five battles, fought on a triangular island in the middle of the Matsukawa river, known as the Battles of Kawanakajima. The Uesugi Matsuri commemorates the warrior and his soldiers with mock battles and various costumed events, as well as a Musha Gyoretsu, a parade of warriors of the Sengoku (Warring States) Era. More...
In the News

A Brand New "Atlas" Shows Where Different Ideas Live in Our Brains

A man on the radio is talking about what it was like to come out to his family as gay. The sound of his voice streams into the ear of the listener and vibrates in the snail shell-shaped cavity of her cochlea. The sounds are translated into electric ... More...
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