Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 22, 2012)
Word of the Day

verbiage

Definition:(noun) The excessive and often meaningless use of words; verbosity.
Synonyms:repetition, tautology, redundancy, circumlocution, prolixity, periphrasis, pleonasm
Usage: He is generally a smooth and fluent versifier, but his fluency is his undoing; he wraps up his material in too great a mass of verbiage.
Article of the Day

The Crocodile Bird

The Egyptian plover is commonly called the "crocodile bird" because of a legend attributed to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. Supposedly, these birds would pick scraps from the teeth of crocodiles, and, in exchange for the dental service, grateful crocodiles would refrain from eating the plovers. Despite anecdotal evidence, the legend is unconfirmed. Instead of being incubated, plover eggs are buried beneath a small layer of warm sand. By what unusual method do plover chicks drink water? More...
This Day in History

HMS Victoria Accidentally Rammed and Sunk (1893)

The HMS Victoria was a Royal Navy battleship that collided with another Royal Navy battleship, the HMS Camperdown, near Tripoli, Lebanon, during maneuvers. The Victoria capsized and quickly sank, killing 358 crew members, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. In 2004, after a decade-long search, a Lebanese diver located the wreckage in 492 ft (150 m) of water. What is unusual about the orientation of the wreck? More...
Today's Birthday

Paul Morphy (1837)

Morphy was an American chess player widely considered to have been the world's greatest. He earned a law degree at 18 but was ineligible to practice until 21, so he turned to chess to pass the time. He won the American championship and then beat the European masters, making a name for himself as the unofficial world chess champion. After failing to set up a law practice, he went into seclusion and retired from competitive play. How many opponents could he play simultaneously while blindfolded? More...
Quotation of the Day
If any question why we died, tell them, because our fathers lied.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

anonymous tip

Information about something (typically criminal or illegal activity) that is offered by an anonymous source. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Alban's Day

St. Alban is the first and best known of all the English saints and martyrs. He was a soldier living as a pagan in the town of Verulamium, probably during the 3rd century, when a Christian priest named Amphibalus, pursued by Roman persecutors, begged for refuge in his house. Alban took him in and was soon converted by him and baptized. When he could conceal Amphibalus no longer, Alban changed clothes with him and gave himself up as the priest. Alban was brought before the governor, condemned, and beheaded. A shrine was later erected in Verulamium, and the town was renamed St. Albans. More...
In the News

Environmentalists Targeted for Murder at Alarming Rate

The world's supply of land, forests, and other natural resources is dwindling, and those battling for control of what remains are increasingly turning to deadly violence. The human rights group Global Witness reports that at least one person is killed every week in an environmental dispute. At least 106 were killed in targeted attacks in 2011, a nearly twofold increase from 2009. Over the course of a decade, over 700 people lost their lives "defending their human rights or the rights of others related to the environment, specifically land and forests." In many cases, the killers are soldiers, police, or private security guards carrying out the orders of governments or businesses. More...
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