Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 13, 2012)
Word of the Day

hackbut

Definition:(noun) An obsolete firearm with a long barrel.
Synonyms:arquebus, hagbut, harquebus
Usage: It is unusual to encounter a hackbut outside of a museum, as the weapon has no practical application in modern combat.
Article of the Day

The Rorschach Inkblot Test

Invented by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach, the Rorschach test requires subjects to interpret a series of 10 standard inkblots. Their responses are then analyzed as an indication of personality traits, preoccupations, and conflicts. Though the test is still widely used, its objectivity and reliability are disputed, in part because the images themselves and the most common interpretations of them have been made available to the public. What is the first image most often said to look like? More...
This Day in History

Michelangelo Begins Carving His Statue of David (1501)

Begun when the artist was just 26 years old and completed three years later, Michelangelo's David is considered the prime example of the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity and a masterpiece of sculpture. The 17-ft (5.2-m) marble figure differs from other representations of David in that he appears tense and is not carrying the head of the slain Goliath. A replica of David on display in London's Victoria and Albert Museum has a detachable fig-leaf that was made for whose visit? More...
Today's Birthday

Samuel "Uncle Sam" Wilson (1766)

Wilson was an American Revolutionary War veteran who owned a meatpacking plant in Troy, New York. He provided beef to the army during the War of 1812 in barrels stamped "US," indicating that they were US property. According to some sources, the soldiers began joking that the initials stood for "Uncle Sam," referring to Wilson, unwittingly inventing the character that would soon come into widespread use as a symbol of the US government. What resolution regarding Wilson did Congress pass in 1961? More...
Quotation of the Day
I know that everything beautiful attracts love, but I cannot see how, by reason of being loved, that which is loved for its beauty is bound to love that which loves it.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Idiom of the Day

a hard pill to swallow

Something, especially a fact or piece of news, that is unpleasant or difficult but which is unavoidable or must be accepted. More...
Today's Holiday

Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

This most important feast of the Muslim calendar is the concluding rite of those performing the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. For those not on pilgrimage, Eid al-Adha is a three-day festival celebrating Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to obey Allah by killing his son, believed by Muslims to be Ishmael, and not Isaac as written in the Old Testament. Muslims consider Ishmael to be the forefather of the Arabs. Many Muslim families reenact this show of faith by sacrificing a cow, a ram, or a lamb on this day, using a portion of it for the family feast and donating one- or two-thirds to the poor. More...
In the News

Frozen Woolly Mammoth Cells Could Be Alive

Woolly mammoth fragments found in Siberia may contain living cells that could lead to the cloning of the extinct creatures, scientists said Tuesday. It is estimated that woolly mammoths died out approximately 10,000 years ago, though some may have survived longer in some areas. Hair, soft tissue, and bone marrow from the prehistoric animal were found 328 feet (100 m) underground during a summer expedition. Some scientists speculate that mammoth cells preserved in permafrost may be able to be used to clone the animal. However, more testing is required to determine whether the cells are still in fact alive. More...
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