Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, May 06, 2012)
Word of the Day

hookah

Definition:(noun) An oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water.
Synonyms:calean, chicha, hubble-bubble, kalian, narghile, shisha, water pipe
Usage: Though I constantly lecture him about the dangers of smoking, my Iranian grandfather refuses to get rid of his hookah.
Article of the Day

The Railgun

A railgun is an experimental weapon that uses electricity instead of explosives to fire long-range projectiles. In a railgun, a conductive projectile is propelled electromagnetically along two parallel rails. Though the device uses a tremendous amount of energy, it can launch objects hundreds of miles at many times the speed of sound. Both the US and Britain have developed and fired experimental models. What are the advantages and disadvantages of railguns compared to traditional guns? More...
This Day in History

Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin, Ireland (1882)

In 1882, Lord Frederick Cavendish, British secretary for Ireland, and Thomas Henry Burke, his undersecretary, were assassinated as they were walking in Dublin's Phoenix Park. They were stabbed to death by members of a radical splinter group of the Fenian movement called the "Invincibles." Two of those arrested turned state's evidence, five were hanged, and three were sentenced to prison. What was the political aftermath of the assassinations? More...
Today's Birthday

Orson Welles (1915)

Welles began acting on stage at 16 and made his Broadway debut in 1934. In 1937, he and John Houseman formed the Mercury Theatre, creating a series of radio dramas and winning notoriety with their panic-producing broadcast of War of the Worlds. Welles then moved to Hollywood, where, at age 26, he cowrote, directed, produced, and acted in the classic Citizen Kane, considered among the most influential movies in film history. What other films did Welles direct? More...
Quotation of the Day
I have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author's political views.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Idiom of the Day

(the) elephant in the room

An obvious truth or fact, especially one regarded as embarrassing or undesirable, that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed. More...
Today's Holiday

St. George's Day (Bulgaria)

St. George's Day, or Gergiovden, is one of the most important celebrations in Bulgaria. It marks the start of the stock-breeding season. Special foods are served, traditional songs are sung, and both livestock and their pens are decorated with blossoming willow twigs. Traditional rural Bulgarian belief holds that someone who is born on this day is blessed with wisdom and beauty. In some areas, a lamb is slaughtered, and the door sill is smeared with its blood to protect the house from witches, illness, and other forms of bad luck. More...
In the News

Koala Population Threatened in Parts of Australia

Koala populations in Queensland and New South Wales have declined by as much as 40% in the past two decades, prompting Australia to declare the koala a threatened species in those areas. By classifying the gentle marsupials as vulnerable, the government affords them some measure of protection from threats like habitat loss and urban expansion. Vehicle strikes, dog attacks, and disease have also taken a toll on koala populations. Some conservationists argue that more needs to be done to protect the koalas and that all of Australia's koalas should be classified as vulnerable. More...
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