Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 14, 2013)
Word of the Day

hilarity

Definition:(noun) Great merriment.
Synonyms:glee, mirthfulness
Usage: When she was gone, I felt as if there was to be no more fun—though it is difficult to say what she had contributed to the hilarity of the party.
Article of the Day

The Maunder Minimum

The Maunder Minimum was the 70-year period from about 1645 to 1715 when sunspots were exceedingly rare, as noted by the solar observers of the time. The years of the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters—leading to speculation that the phenomena were related. Astronomer John A. Eddy popularized the concept in his landmark 1976 paper "The Maunder Minimum." Who was the eponymous Maunder? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Aljubarrota (1385)

At a time of war, famine, and plague in Europe, the Portuguese village of Aljubarrota became the site of a momentous battle in which the Portuguese, aided by English archers, defeated the forces of the Spanish King John I of Castile, assuring Portuguese independence from the Castilian crown. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the man who led the revolt against Castilian domination, emerged from the battle a hero. He later became a monk and was recently canonized. Who was the Portuguese king at the time? More...
Today's Birthday

John Henry "Doc" Holliday (1851)

Holliday was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter. After graduating from dental school in 1872, he moved to the drier climate of the West to help treat his tuberculosis. He briefly practiced dentistry in Texas, then took up gambling and began drifting. Settling in Tombstone, Arizona, he joined Wyatt Earp and his brothers in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Having earned a reputation as a gunman, he resumed drifting and died of tuberculosis at the age of 36. What were his last words? More...
Quotation of the Day
If I got places, sir, it was because I made myself fit for 'em. If you want to slip into a round hole, you must make a ball of yourself.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

get with the times

slang To understand or be knowledgeable of modern times, especially as relates to the contemporary trends, ideas, or fashions. (Usually said as a jocular or sarcastic imperative.) More...
Today's Holiday

Mount Ceahlau Feast (2016)

A folk event that has ancient roots, the Mount Ceahlau Feast is held at Durau, Romania, at the foot of Mount Ceahlau. The mountain was considered sacred to the Dacians, the ancestors of the present Romanians, and was the scene of their annual celebrations. In those days, people climbed to the summit to greet the sun with religious ceremonies and feasts. Today there are demonstrations of such sports as wrestling and foot racing, and exhibits and sales of folk art. More...
In the News

Illegal Rooftop Mountain Villa Ordered Demolished

A Chinese man illegally constructed a fake mountaintop and villa on the roof of a 26-story high-rise apartment building in Beijing. It is a sight reminiscent of the over-the-top, preposterous lairs belonging to the hapless villain Dr. Evil, of Austin Powers fame, but this is a residential building, not a Hollywood film set. Residents fear the 8,600-sqare-foot (800-sqare-meter) rooftop "mountain" has compromised the structural integrity of the edifice. Authorities have ordered that the addition, which was built without permits, be removed before the end of the month. More...
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