Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, August 23, 2013)
Word of the Day

chivvy

Definition:(verb) Annoy continually or chronically.
Synonyms:beset, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke
Usage: The senator is very demanding and is reputed to endlessly chivvy her staff to work harder.
Article of the Day

Czech Hedgehogs

Early in World War II, Germany relied heavily on the great striking power of its fast-moving tank formations. To defend against the threat, the Czechs lined their borders with large iron obstacles shaped like toy jacks. Though not immovable, they cause tanks to get stuck after driving over them. While the Nazis went on to annex Czech territory in the Sudetenland, these obstacles, known as "Czech hedgehogs," caught on with other combatants and were later employed in what famous battle? More...
This Day in History

Freckleton Air Disaster (1944)

On the morning of August 23, 1944, an American B-24 bomber aircraft crashed into the village of Freckleton in Lancashire, England, during a fierce storm. The plane hit the Holy Trinity School, three houses, and a snack bar for American servicemen. Fuel from the plane's ruptured fuel tank created an inferno. Of the 61 people killed in the crash and fire, 38 were children. What reportedly widespread belief among the American airmen about British weather may have contributed to the disaster? More...
Today's Birthday

Ernst Krenek (1900)

Krenek was an Austrian-American composer born in Vienna to Czech parents. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and began composing in the 1920s. His 1926 jazz opera, Johnny Strikes Up, was extremely successful and has been translated into many languages. He explored atonal and 12-tone compositions, which lack a definable key. In 1937, Krenek moved to the US, where he became a citizen in 1945. In 1924, he began a short-lived marriage to the daughter of what famous composer? More...
Quotation of the Day
Life altogether is but a crumbling ruin when we turn to look behind.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

labor under the illusion of/that

To live, operate, or function with the unyielding belief in something, especially that which is fanciful, unrealistic, or untrue. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Vulcanalia (2017)

Vulcan was the ancient Roman god of volcanic or destructive fire. The Vulcanalia, or festival in honor of Vulcan, was held on August 23, right at the time of year when forest fires might be expected and when the stored grain was in danger of burning. For this reason Vulcan's cult was very prominent at Ostia, where Rome's grain was stored. At the Vulcanalia, which was observed in Egypt, in Athens, and in Rome, the priest or flamen Volcanis performed a sacrifice, and the heads of families burned small fish they had caught in the Tiber River. More...
In the News

Zoo Management Caught Lyin' about Lion

A Chinese zoo temporarily shut down after it was discovered that what patrons were gaping at in the lion cage was nothing more than a domestic dog. The Tibetan mastiff has a bushy mane that gives it a lion-like appearance, but it still barks like any other canine. This is what raised the suspicions of one savvy zoo visitor, who then tipped off the media to the apparent fraud. Further investigation revealed that the deception—or inadvertent oversight, as zoo management maintains—was actually much more extensive, with foxes on display in the leopard enclosure and nutrias in the snake den. More...
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