Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, July 14, 2012)
Word of the Day

rough-cut

Definition:(adjective) Lacking refinement or cultivation or taste.
Synonyms:uncouth, vulgar, coarse, common
Usage: My mechanic is a rough-cut man who makes little time for pleasantries, but I use him because he always gives me an honest price and does good work.
Article of the Day

Gegenschein

The gegenschein is an oval patch of faint light directly opposite the sun in the night sky. It is so faint that it can only be seen in the absence of moonlight and is lost in the light of the Milky Way except in the spring and fall. It is thought to be caused by sunlight reflecting off dust particles in space that may be part of Earth's tail of dust and gas. Danish astronomer Theodor Brorsen published an account of the phenomenon in 1854, about 50 years after it was observed and named by whom? 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
The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

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

Noise Pollution Killing Baby Birds

Researchers believe that noise could be to blame, at least in part, for the sharp decline of the UK's house sparrow population over the past four decades. There are a number of reasons why this might be. The leading hypothesis is that noise affects the selection of a mate, perhaps by drowning out mating calls. Another theory, supported by the observation that sparrows nesting in noisy areas are less effective at feeding their chicks, suggests that urban noise makes it difficult for adult birds to hear the hunger calls of their offspring and negatively affects the way the chicks are fed, thereby limiting their chances of survival. More...
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