Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, October 31, 2012)
Word of the Day

intermit

Definition:(verb) Cease an action temporarily.
Synonyms:pause, break
Usage: Pray to the gods to intermit the plague.
Article of the Day

The Sistrum

The sistrum is a percussion instrument that functions much like a tambourine. Often made of metal, it consists of a handle and a U-shaped frame run through with thin, loosely set crossbars. The crossbars can have little metal rings or loops on them, and when the sistrum is shaken, the crossbars and loops jangle. The sistrum was used in ancient Sumer, Rome, and Egypt, and some Egyptian goddesses were depicted holding the instrument. What churches still use the sistrum in religious services? More...
This Day in History

Leiden University Library Opens in the Netherlands (1587)

The city of Leiden played a prominent role in the revolt that would create an independent Dutch nation. In 1575—a year after Leiden had survived a siege by the Spanish—Prince William the Silent founded a university in the city. Today, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Its library, once housed in a single room, is now home to a monumental collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and letters—some of which are centuries old and very rare. What was the library's first book? More...
Today's Birthday

John Evelyn (1620)

From 1631 until his death in 1706, Evelyn kept a diary that is today an invaluable source of information on 17th-century British social, cultural, and political life. He corresponded frequently with Samuel Pepys, another now-famous diarist of the time. Living as a wealthy country gentleman in Deptford, he wrote about 30 books on various subjects including reforestation, vegetarianism, and numismatics. In 1661, he wrote the Fumifugium, believed to be the first book written on what topic? More...
Quotation of the Day
By indignities men come to dignities.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

bragging rights

The authority and freedom to boast or brag of one's achievements that comes from having won a contest or succeeded in some way, especially against a close rival. More...
Today's Holiday

Apple and Candle Night (2017)

This is another name for Halloween among children in the Swansea area of Wales. The traditional game of "Apple and Candle" is played by suspending a stick from the ceiling with an apple fastened to one end and a lit candle to the other. The object is to eat the apple without using hands and without getting burned by the swinging candle. To make the game more challenging, players are sometimes blindfolded and the stick is twirled around before the game begins. More...
In the News

SpaceX Success Milestone for Commercial Spaceflight

The first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has ended with the unmanned space capsule's successful reentry and splashdown, marking a major milestone in the privatization of spaceflight. This was the first of 12 missions California-based company SpaceX is contracted to carry out for NASA, which retired its fleet of space shuttles in 2011. The Dragon capsule delivered about 1,000 lb (450 kg) of cargo to the ISS and brought back broken machinery and medical samples collected from the astronauts aboard the station over the past year. More...
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