Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, September 10, 2014)
Word of the Day

zealot

Definition:(noun) An immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous adherent to a cause, especially a religious one.
Synonyms:drumbeater, partisan
Usage: Jane, who had dabbled in vegetarianism during high school, became an environmental zealot while in college.
Article of the Day

The Fountain Pen

Prior to the refinement and mass-production of the fountain pen in the late 19th century, writing with ink had some serious drawbacks. The dip pen had to be continuously dipped in ink, while the quill—made from a feather plucked from a live bird—required frequent sharpening. By contrast, the fountain pen held liquid ink in a reservoir until needed, at which time the ink was fed to a nib via a combination of gravity and capillary action. How was ink inserted into the first fountain pens? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (1547)

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh was part of the War of Rough Wooing, the ruthless war launched by Henry VIII against Scotland to force a marriage between Mary Queen of Scots and his son, the future Edward VI. The first "modern" battle to be fought in the British Isles and the last pitched battle between the English and Scottish royal armies, it resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots, who came to call it Black Saturday. After the battle, what happened to the infant Queen Mary? More...
Today's Birthday

Thomas Sydenham (1624)

Known as "the English Hippocrates," Sydenham was a physician who advocated direct observation instead of theorizing to determine the nature of disease. His conceptions of the causes and treatments of epidemics and his classic descriptions of gout, smallpox, malaria, and other maladies established him as a founder of modern clinical medicine and epidemiology. He introduced laudanum as a medication, helped popularize the use of quinine in treating malaria, and described what "dancing" disease? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

the happy day

A wedding, or marriage in general. More...
Today's Holiday

La Partita a Scacchi Viventi (Living Chess Game) (2016)

Every two years, the main piazza in Marostica, Italy, is transformed into a giant chessboard. More than 500 townspeople wearing elaborate medieval costumes portray chessmen and act out a living game. Thousands of spectators watch from bleachers, cheering loudly when a castle is lost and moaning when there is an impending checkmate. The local players begin rehearsing in March; some start out as pawns and over the years work their way up to become knights, kings, and queens. The moves in the game are spoken in an ancient dialect, including the final scácco matto! (checkmate). More...
In the News

Author Claims Jack the Ripper Was Actually Aaron the Ripper

The true identity of the infamous serial killer known as Jack the Ripper has eluded investigators for over a century, but in his new book, Naming Jack the Ripper, author Russell Edwards claims to have solved the mystery at last. He points the finger at 23-year-old Polish immigrant and hairdresser Aaron Kosminski, long considered one of the key suspects in the so-called Whitechapel murders. Edwards arrived at this conclusion after linking DNA left on a shawl at one of the Ripper's murder scenes to the descendants of Kosminski. More...
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