Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 02, 2012)
Word of the Day

unlooked-for

Definition:(adjective) Not anticipated.
Synonyms:out of the blue, unforeseen
Usage: These unlooked-for blows have shaken me terribly, and these strange calamities have quite broken my spirit.
Article of the Day

Fasti

In ancient Rome, the fasti was a calendar-like list of days that kept track of holy days, festivals, and notable events. Most importantly, it indicated the days when public business could take place without impiety, its original purpose. The first fasti was published in 304 BCE, in the form of engraved stone tablets placed in the Forum, the center of Roman public life. The list served as the origin of the Roman calendar, according to which each week had how many days? More...
This Day in History

Dos de Mayo Uprising (1808)

Shortly after Napoleon occupied Madrid, Spain, on March 23, 1808, the people of Madrid rose up against the French in the Dos de Mayo uprising, which was sparked by the attempt to move two of the Spanish king's children to France. The uprising culminated in a fierce battle that was fought in the Puerta del Sol, the city's central square. The French suppressed the rebellion and, in reprisal, shot hundreds of citizens the following day. What painter immortalized the events of that day? More...
Today's Birthday

Catherine II of Russia (1729)

Catherine II was empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. The daughter of a German prince, she was chosen at 14 to be the wife of the future czar, Peter III. In 1762, conspirators led by her lover staged a coup and proclaimed her empress. Peter was murdered shortly thereafter. As czarina, she increased Russia's power by skillful diplomacy and by extending its frontiers into central Europe. She was a patron of the arts and corresponded with many of the prominent minds of her era, including whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

don't go there

Don't get into that topic of conversation; I don't want to talk about that. Used humorously, the phrase usually implies that the speaker has a potentially scandalous, sensitive, or otherwise complicated association with the topic. More...
Today's Holiday

Festival of Sant' Efisio

The Sagra di Sant' Efisio at Cagliari, in Sardinia, Italy, commemorates the martyrdom of a 3rd-century Roman general who was converted to Christianity and credited with saving the town from the plague. On May 1, a procession accompanies a statue of St. Efisio through the streets of Cagliari to the church of Pula, the town where he suffered martyrdom. Three days later, the statue returns to Cagliari. Several thousand pilgrims, wearing costumes that date from the 17th century and earlier, take part in the procession, which culminates in a parade down Cagliari's main avenue. More...
In the News

At Least 103 Dead in India Ferryboat Disaster

As many as 200 people are feared dead after an overloaded ferry capsized in bad weather on one of India's largest rivers on Monday. Over 100 bodies have already been recovered, and 100 more remain missing. The boat was carrying about 300 people when it sank, most of them local farmers and their families. There were no life rafts or life vests on board. A third of the passengers were able to swim to safety or were rescued, and the search for survivors is ongoing. More...
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