Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 10, 2017)
Word of the Day

parhelion

Definition:(noun) A bright spot sometimes appearing on either side of the sun, often on a luminous ring or halo.
Synonyms:sundog, mock sun
Usage: At first, Sue thought the bright spot in the sky beside the sun was a comet, but she soon realized that the phenomenon was actually a parhelion.
Article of the Day

The Bâton Percé

Because archeologists are unsure of its original function, they now use the descriptive term bâton percé, meaning "pierced rod," to refer to this type of prehistoric artifact. Made from a length of antler with a round hole in one end and often etched with designs, the bâton percé was originally believed to be a symbol of power. Later theories suggest it may have been a fertility symbol, arrow straightener, dress fastener, calendar, or spear thrower. How was the latter theory tested? More...
This Day in History

London Underground Begins Operation (1863)

The world's first subway line opened in London in 1863. It was 3.75 mi (6 km) long and soon carried tens of thousands of passengers each day—transporting 9.5 million in its first year. Initially steam-powered, the system first electrified some of its lines in 1890. By 1896, it was fully electrified. Today, the London Underground system is one of the largest in the world, with 256 mi (410 km) of track and 270 stations. What is the record for visiting them all in the shortest amount of time? More...
Today's Birthday

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834)

Denied admission to Cambridge University because of his Roman Catholicism, Acton studied instead in Munich. He went on to become a noted historian and member of English Parliament. Outspoken against arbitrary power, he was also an editor of a Catholic monthly but resigned due to papal criticism of his scientific approach to history. He coined the saying "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Another of Acton's sayings is that a strong man with a dagger is followed by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
Pleasures are more beneficial than duties, because, like the quality of mercy, they are not strained, and they are twice blest.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Today's Holiday

Benin National Vodoun Day (2021)

Vodoun is an ancient, African, pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as "Voodoo." The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. The day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration's central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor. More...
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