Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 03, 2014)
Word of the Day

canorous

Definition:(adjective) Richly melodious.
Synonyms:songful
Usage: When I sing in the shower, my off-key caterwauling takes on a surprisingly canorous tone.
Article of the Day

The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals, through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer one and not be scratched by it. While the varying hardness of stones was likely first explored around 300 BCE, German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs devised his scale in 1812. It uses 10 standards ranging from talc, the softest, with a value of 1, to diamond, the hardest, with a value of 10. Where does a fingernail fall on the Mohs scale? More...
This Day in History

Quebec City Founded by Samuel de Champlain (1608)

Frenchman Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City as a trading post at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Charles rivers. From this and subsequent settlements Catholic missionaries, explorers, and fur traders pushed across N America. Begun with just 32 colonists, the city is now home to about 500,000. Most residents are of French descent, despite the fact that the area was ceded to the British in 1763. By what name was Quebec originally known? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski (1879)

Korzybski was a Polish-American linguist who developed a school of thought known as general semantics. He aimed to distinguish between words and the objects they describe, as well as between individual objects all described by the same word. He stressed the arbitrary nature of language and other symbols and the problems that result from misunderstanding their nature. Why did Korzybski once trick his students into eating dog biscuits during a lecture? More...
Quotation of the Day
The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

go to Canossa

To become or make oneself humble; to do a penance or seek absolution for some wrong. A reference to Canossa Castle in Emilia Romagna, Italy, where Emperor Henry IV humbled himself before Pope Gregory VII in 1077 to have his excommunication lifted. More...
Today's Holiday

Belarus Independence Day

After nearly 70 years under Soviet rule, Belarus declared its sovereignty on July 27, 1990, and issued its declaration of independence on August 25, 1991. Belarus officially became autonomous on December 26, 1991, as did other former Soviet republics. On April 2, 1997, however, a treaty was signed to unite Belarus with the Russian Federation. Thus, Belarus reverted to its earlier Independence Day, July 3, which commemorated the liberation of the capital, Minsk, from German occupation in 1944. More...
In the News

Espresso Machine's Out-of-This-World Launch

Coffee lovers of the world—nay, universe—rejoice! You will now be able to get a decent cup of joe in space. After decades of drinking subpar java, astronauts will finally have access to real Italian espresso in orbit. Engineers partnered with coffee giant Lavazza to design an espresso machine suitable for use on the International Space Station (ISS). The 44-pound (20-kg) "ISSpresso" machine is set to launch early next year on a cargo ship bound for the ISS, where Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy's first female astronaut, will also serve as the first space barista. More...
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