Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 13, 2014)
Word of the Day

acumen

Definition:(noun) Shrewdness shown by keen insight.
Synonyms:insightfulness
Usage: His sharp business acumen meant he quickly rose to the top.
Article of the Day

Argyle Diamond Mine

The Argyle mine in Western Australia is one of the world's largest diamond producers by volume, producing more than 750 million carats of rough diamonds since operations began in the 1980s. Most of the diamonds mined there are of relatively low quality. However, it is the primary source of the rare and valuable pink diamond, producing more than 90% of the world's supply, and is also a major source of champagne, cognac, and blue diamonds. What percentage of Argyle's diamonds are gem quality? More...
This Day in History

The New York Times Begins Publication of the Pentagon Papers (1971)

The Pentagon Papers were top secret government documents detailing US involvement in SE Asia from WWII to 1968. In 1971, a former government employee leaked portions of the 47-volume study, which revealed both miscalculation and deception on the part of US policymakers, to The New York Times, which began publishing articles about it. Citing national security, the Justice Department obtained an injunction against further publication, and the case went to the Supreme Court. How did it rule? More...
Today's Birthday

Gnaeus Julius Agricola (40 CE)

Agricola was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, where he was made consul and governor after a distinguished military and political career. He pacified most of the territory, conquering North Wales and advancing far into Scotland, and also circumnavigated the island. His biography, the De Vita et Moribus Lulii AgricolaeThe Life and Character of Julius Agricola—was the first published work of his son-in-law, what Roman historian? More...
Quotation of the Day
A man's house burns down. The smoking wreckage represents only a ruined home that was dear through years of use and pleasant associations. By and by, as the days and weeks go on, first he misses this, then that, then the other thing. And when he casts about for it he finds that it was in that house. Always it is an essential--there was but one of its kind. It cannot be replaced. It was in that house. It is irrevocably lost... It will be years before the tale of lost essentials is complete, and not till then can he truly know the magnitude of his disaster.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

advanced in years

Of an older age. More...
Today's Holiday

Second Day of Shavuot (2016)

Shavuot ("weeks") is the second of the three Pilgrim Festivals. At one time, all adult male Jews were expected to bring their first omer, or "sheaf," of barley to the Temple in Jerusalem as a thanksgiving offering. Today, dairy dishes are associated with Shavuot, particularly cheese blintzes. After the period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, Shavuot celebrated Moses' return from the top of Mt. Sinai with the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and it is therefore also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Law. Jews living in Israel observe only the first day of Shavuot. More...
In the News

"Eugene" Passes Turing Test

In 1950, British mathematician and computer theorist Alan Turing predicted that by 2000, a computer could be programmed so that after 5 minutes of questioning, the average interrogator would not have more than a 70% chance of telling whether he was talking to a machine or another person. The ability of a machine to carry on a conversation indistinguishable from that of a human, he contended, is the true measure of artificial intelligence. And while he was a little off on the timing, a computer program has finally passed the Turing test. Last Saturday, a program called Eugene Goostman convinced 33% of the judges at the Royal Society in London that it was human. More...
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