Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, July 06, 2012)
Word of the Day

wonted

Definition:(adjective) Commonly used or practiced; usual.
Synonyms:habitual, accustomed, customary
Usage: Professor Erlin lost his wonted calm: he beat the table with his fist, and drowned all opposition with the roar of his fine deep voice.
Article of the Day

Chapbooks

Chapbooks were small, inexpensive pamphlets popular in Europe and America from the 16th century until the mid-19th century. They contained of a variety of reading material, including folklore, reports of crimes, ballads, and Bible stories, and reveal much about popular culture at the time. Sold by itinerant agents known as "chapmen" for as little as a penny, they were typically unsigned, undated, and flimsy. After they were read, they were often put to use in what other ways? More...
This Day in History

Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)

Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum that sank into the sea after a series of explosions and a massive fire, killing 167 men. Only 59 of the workers survived. The initial blast is believed to have resulted from the activation of a pump that was missing a safety valve. A poorly planned evacuation process exacerbated the disaster. Why did nearby platforms continue to pump gas and oil to Piper Alpha after it was engulfed in flames? More...
Today's Birthday

Annette Kellerman (1887)

Kellerman was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star, and writer. Her 1907 performance of "water ballet" is often credited with popularizing the sport of synchronized swimming. Kellerman was also known for advocating the right of women to wear one-piece bathing suits and was once famously arrested for indecency for doing so herself. In 1908, a Harvard University professor named her the "Perfect Woman" because of the similarity of her physical attributes to what figure? More...
Quotation of the Day
Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Idiom of the Day

God's honest truth

The absolute, unequivocal truth. (I.e., as if spoken by God Himself.) More...
Today's Holiday

Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra is an outpouring of tens of thousands of pilgrims to honor Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, in Puri in the state of Orissa, India. During the festival, wooden images of Jagannath, his brother, Balbhadra, and his sister, Subhadra, are taken in procession in three huge chariots or carts that look like temples and are called raths. They go from the Jagannath Temple to be bathed at Gundicha Mandir, a temple about a mile away. This is such a popular festival because all castes are considered equal, and everyone has to eat the food prepared by low caste men at the shrine. More...
In the News

Elusive Higgs Boson Subatomic Particle Discovered

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle whose characteristics match those of the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle." Its existence was first posited by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs nearly half a century ago, and he is overjoyed that it has been found in his lifetime. The particle could help explain why matter has mass and further our understanding of the shaping of the universe. The discovery was made by two teams of physicists using the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN. More...
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