Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 13, 2012)
Word of the Day

forfend

Definition:(verb) Prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening.
Synonyms:deflect, head off, avert, avoid, debar, obviate
Usage: Norman of Torn, if you are not the son of the old man you call father may God forfend that England ever guesses your true parentage.
Article of the Day

Caltrops

A caltrop is a metal device with four projecting spikes arranged so that when any three spikes are on the ground, the fourth points upward. It can be used to damage feet, hooves, and—more commonly nowadays—tires. The earliest recorded use of caltrops was in the 331 BCE Battle of Gaugamela. Even in the 20th century, when mechanized warfare became the norm and horses were replaced with wheeled vehicles, caltrops retained their usefulness on the battlefield. How have they been used outside of war? More...
This Day in History

Opha Mae Johnson Becomes First Woman to Enlist in the US Marine Corps (1918)

During World War I, the US Secretary of the Navy decided to allow women to join the Marine Corps Reserve so that they could take over clerical duties being performed at the time by battle-ready Marines who were needed overseas. Johnson, who was 18 at the time, was the first woman to enlist. It would be another 25 years before the Marines began letting women fill non-clerical positions like parachute rigger, mechanic, and cryptographer. What was Johnson's rank? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Hitchcock (1899)

Hitchcock was a six-time Academy Award-nominated English-American filmmaker who directed more than 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades. A master of the suspense thriller, he developed a style that is so distinctive that any filmmaker working in the suspense genre invariably risks comparison to him. He was one of the best known directors of his time, often making humorous cameo appearances in his own films. Hitchcock was also known for his use of MacGuffins, which are what? More...
Quotation of the Day
No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

get the knack of

To learn how to do something competently or well after a certain period of practice or development. More...
Today's Holiday

Bud Billiken Day

Bud Billiken is the "patron saint" of Chicago's African-American children. Created in 1923 by Robert S. Abbott, Bud Billiken is a symbol of things as they should be, and his day is primarily a children's event. There is a parade held on the second Saturday in August each year, complete with marching bands, baton twirlers, floats, and units from the Navy, Air Force, and National Guard. The formalities end when the parade reaches Washington Park in the Grand Boulevard area of Chicago, where families have picnics and cookouts. More...
In the News

Survivors Hope to Take a Bite out of Shark Fin Soup

One would expect survivors of shark attacks to harbor ill will toward the creatures that maimed them, but one group of survivors is doing its best to save them. As many as 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, which are used to make the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup. Samples of the soup taken from US restaurants by shark attack survivors revealed that 81 percent were made using the fins of endangered, vulnerable, or near-threatened sharks. The group hopes that this knowledge will make restaurant patrons think twice before ordering the dish. More...
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