Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 24, 2015)
Word of the Day

cembalo

Definition:(noun) A clavier with strings that are plucked by plectra mounted on pivots.
Synonyms:harpsichord
Usage: Although the piano is a more versatile instrument with a greater range, some musicians still enjoy playing the cembalo for its distinct sound.
Article of the Day

The Necktie

A necktie is a narrow fabric band of varying length worn around the neck and tied in a knot or bow close to the throat. The modern tie, ascot, and bowtie are descended from the 17th c. cravat. Originally, the four-in-hand necktie was cut on the square and had square ends. The bias-cut necktie, introduced in 1926, allowed the tie to fall evenly from the knot without twisting. Using mathematical modeling, researchers have discovered 85 possible necktie knots. How many are "aesthetically pleasing"? More...
This Day in History

Pluto Gets Demoted (2006)

Although it was recognized as a planet for decades, Pluto is much smaller than the other planets in our solar system and more closely resembles a giant comet nucleus. Consequently, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the category of dwarf planet, which reflected astronomers' conclusion that it is a member of the Kuiper belt, a strip of billions of icy bodies orbiting the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune. What is a "plutino"? More...
Today's Birthday

Lavinia Fontana (1552)

One of the few female Italian artists of the 16th century, Lavinia Fontana was the daughter of Italian mannerist painter Prospero Fontana. She was a fashionable portrait painter in Bologna and Rome who was especially noted for the vibrant color and detail of her works. Her self-portraits and a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII show a fine decorative sense in the treatment of costume. She was also a painter of religious subjects. What are some of her major works? More...
Quotation of the Day
If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

Idiom of the Day

a ground ball with eyes

In baseball, a ball that is hit onto the ground and narrowly eludes two or more infielders, allowing the batter to take a base. It is said to have "eyes" because it seems to "see" its way between the two defensive players. More...
Today's Holiday

Ukraine Independence Day (2016)

On this day in 1991, just after a failed coup in Moscow, Ukraine declared its independence from the USSR. On December 1, 1991, 90 percent of the people voted for independence. More...
In the News

From Pebble to Planet: Researchers Find Humble Beginnings of Gas Giants

New research suggests that massive planets like Saturn and Jupiter started out with just a few small building blocks – more accurately building rocks – just half an inch or so across. In the spinning, swirling brew of the early solar system, surrounded by ... More...
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