Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, November 5, 2012)
Word of the Day

fracas

Definition:(noun) Noisy quarrel.
Synonyms:affray, altercation
Usage: A loud and violent fracas took place between the infantry Colonel and his lady, who were dining at the Cafe de Paris.
Article of the Day

Circular Breathing

Circular breathing is a technique for sustaining a tone on a wind instrument without interruption. When a musician's lungs are nearly out of air, he or she uses the cheeks to force air out of the mouth while quickly breathing in through the nose, and then resumes exhaling from the lungs. For some instruments, such as the Australian didgeridoo or the Cambodian sralai, circular breathing is an integral part of the playing technique. How long is the world record for holding a single note? More...
This Day in History

The Hither Green Rail Crash (1967)

The Sunday evening express train from Hastings to London was traveling 70 miles per hour (113 km/h) when it struck a stressed and fractured rail not far from London's Hither Green depot. Several other trains may have successfully passed over the broken rail earlier, but the packed Hastings to London train derailed and partially overturned, killing 49 people in one of the worst rail disasters in British history. What pop singer survived the accident? More...
Today's Birthday

Mahmud Ghazan (1271)

One of the most prominent Mongol leaders of Persia, Ghazan was raised Buddhist but converted to Islam in 1295 before inheriting his father's throne. Well educated and fluent in several languages, he tasked his vizier with composing a history of the Mongols. In Syria, he successfully fought his family's enemy, the Mamluks, but they reoccupied the area upon his departure. What European nation became so fascinated with Mongol culture in the 13th century that many children were named for Ghazan? More...
Quotation of the Day
The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

go Galt

To reduce, restrict, or cease one's work or productivity as a means of social protest against increased marginal tax rates, limits on tax deductions, or the use of tax income for purposes one finds morally objectionable. Taken from the name John Galt, a character in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. More...
Today's Holiday

Guy Fawkes Day (2017)

On the night of November 4, 1605, 36 barrels of gunpowder were discovered beneath the Houses of Parliament in London. The conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot planned to blow up King James I to avenge laws against Roman Catholics. While Guy Fawkes didn't originate the plan, he was caught red-handed after someone tipped off the king's ministers. The following year, Parliament established November 5 as a national day of thanksgiving. Effigies of Guy Fawkes are still burned in bonfires that night, and fireworks fill the skies over Britain in remembrance of the failure of the Gunpowder Plot. More...
In the News

Women Smokers Should Quit by 30 to Avoid Worst Risks

A study of more than a million women in the UK shows that female smokers who quit before the age of 30 dramatically cut their risk of early deaths resulting from tobacco-related diseases. According to the study, lifelong smokers die an average of 10 years earlier than non-smokers. However, women in the study who had quit by age 30 only lost a month of life on average, and those who had quit by 40 died just a year earlier than non-smokers. However, health experts noted that the findings of the study should not be seen as an excuse for young people to smoke, especially since many smokers become addicted. More...
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