Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 14, 2011)
Word of the Day

rappel

Definition:(verb) Lower oneself with a rope coiled around the body from a mountainside.
Synonyms:abseil, rope down
Usage: She decided to try and overcome her fear of heights by learning to rappel.
Article of the Day

The Diving Bell

The diving bell was an early diving submersible used for underwater exploration, sponge fishing, and salvaging sunken cargo. It consisted of a bottomless chamber connected to a compressed-air hose that would both refresh the air inside the chamber and maintain enough pressure to keep water from filling it as it descended. In the 16th century, inventor Guglielmo de Lorena created and used what is considered the first modern diving bell. What 4th-century philosopher first described such a device? More...
This Day in History

The Darién Scheme: Ships Leave Scotland for Isthmus of Panama (1698)

In 1695, the Scottish Parliament passed an act chartering a trading company to open trade with Africa and the Indies in the hope that this would make Scotland a world trading nation. Backed by about a quarter of the country's liquid assets, the Darién Company tried to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama to compete with the Dutch and Spanish, but both of its expeditions failed, nearly bankrupting Scotland in the process. The failures led to what acts of Parliament? More...
Today's Birthday

Ingmar Bergman (1918)

Bergman was a Swedish film and stage writer, director, and producer. He achieved an impressive degree of freedom early in his career and used it to create and develop a highly individual approach. Working with many of the same actors and technicians from film to film—including actor Max von Sydow and cinematographer Sven Nykvist—Bergman filled his work with an unusual degree of unity and continuity. He won international acclaim for The Seventh Seal and what other films? More...
Quotation of the Day
Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

go under the hammer

To be put up for or sold at auction. More...
Today's Holiday

Bastille Day (2016)

The Bastille was a 14th-century fortress that became a notorious state prison in Paris. An angry mob assaulted the Bastille—which had come to symbolize the French monarchy's oppression of the people—on July 14, 1789, freeing the political prisoners held there and launching the French Revolution. July 14 has been celebrated since that time in France as Fête Nationale, as well as in French territories in the Pacific, with parades, fireworks, and dancing in the streets. In Tahiti and the rest of French Polynesia, it is called Tiurai or Heiva, and is celebrated for most of the month. More...
In the News

Three Bombings in Mumbai Kill 21

A series of three bombings that took place just minutes apart in Mumbai, Ind ia's most populous city, yesterday evening has claimed the lives of at least 21 people and injured 141 others. Though there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the close timing of the blasts has led authorities to conclude that this was indeed a coordinated attack. This was the first major attack on the city since the 2008 Mumbai siege, in which 166 people were killed over a three-day period, and the worst the country has suffered since that time. More...
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