Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 21, 2011)
Word of the Day

button-down

Definition:(adjective) Unimaginatively conventional.
Synonyms:conservative
Usage: Knowing that her unconventional appearance would hold her back in the button-down corporate culture she was about to enter, she reluctantly dyed her magenta hair back to its natural auburn.
Article of the Day

Constructed Worlds

A constructed world is an imaginary world, usually created for a novel, video game, or role-playing game, that possesses a unique geography and climate and is often home to sapient creatures with their own cultures and histories. Detailed maps and languages of their creators’ invention help make these worlds seem more realistic. J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth is one example of a constructed world. There are two major approaches to world-building: top-down and bottom-up. How do they differ? More...
This Day in History

Neil Armstrong Becomes the First Man to Walk on the Moon (1969)

As commander of Apollo 11, Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the Moon. With hundreds of millions watching a broadcast of his history-making moonwalk, he uttered the now famous line, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Buzz Aldrin followed, and the two astronauts proceeded to set up scientific equipment, conduct experiments, and collect samples from the lunar surface. What other spacecraft landed on the moon while Apollo 11 was still there? More...
Today's Birthday

Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (1816)

Reuter, founder of the Reuters news agency, was a pioneer of telegraphy and news reporting. In 1849, he started a post service to bridge the gap in a telegraph line between Germany and Belgium. He soon moved to England and opened a telegraph office serving banks, brokerages, and businesses. He steadily extended his commercial news service, acquiring his first subscribing newspaper client in 1858. Undersea cables enabled him to expand the service. What animal was used to deliver messages in 1849? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

a good turn

An action that is beneficial to another person in some way. More...
Today's Holiday

Belgium Independence Day

This public holiday, also known as the Belgium National Day, commemorates Belgium's independence from the Netherlands on July 21, 1831. Belgians had struggled against their rulers for 15 years. A revolt began in 1830, and, the next year, the state of Belgium was formed and King Leopold I (1790-1865) was made its first king. Belgians sing "La Brabançonne," the national anthem, and observe their independence with festivities, especially in the capital city of Brussels. More...
In the News

UN Declares Famine in Somalia

The UN has declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia and warns that the crisis could spread throughout the country over the next two months if international donors do not take immediate action. The area is suffering the worst drought in more than half a century, affecting an estimated 10 million people. Most major aid agencies employ the word famine only when at least 20 percent of the population has access to fewer than 2,100 kilocalories of food a day, more than 30 percent of children are suffering acute malnutrition, and two adults in 10,000 or four children in 10,000 are dying of hunger each day. More...
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