Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 3, 2020)
Word of the Day

diadem

Definition:(noun) An ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty.
Synonyms:crown
Usage: Standing upright within the chariot was a beautiful girl clothed in flowing robes of silver gauze and wearing a jeweled diadem upon her dainty head.
Article of the Day

Plimpton 322

Plimpton 322 is a Babylonian clay tablet believed to have been created around 1,800 BCE. Approximately 5 inches (13 cm) wide and 3.5 inches (9 cm) tall, the tablet's surface is marked by four columns of cuneiform numbers. Many mathematicians believe that the ancient spreadsheet—possibly used by a teacher to assign math problems to a student—demonstrates an understanding of Pythagorean mathematics that predates Pythagoras by more than 1,200 years. What do the numbers in each column represent? More...
This Day in History

Qatar Becomes an Independent State (1971)

Qatar, located on a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf, became a British protectorate in 1916. It remained under British control for more than 50 years, a period during which oil was discovered there and Qatar rapidly modernized. In 1968, Britain declared that it would disengage from the region, and Qatar joined a federation of nearby states. However, disputes arose, and, in 1971, Qatar became an independent state. Prior to the discovery of oil there, Qatar was noted for what unusual industry? More...
Today's Birthday

Diane de Poitiers (1499)

As a lady-in-waiting at the French royal court, Diane captivated the man who would become King Henry II of France—though he was 20 years her junior. After the death of her husband, she became Henry's mistress. Following his coronation in 1547, Diane held court as queen in all but name, while the real queen lived in relative obscurity. However, after Henry's 1559 death, she was forced to retire from court. Her death may have been the result of drinking too much gold in an elixir meant to do what? More...
Quotation of the Day
A puritan is a person who pours righteous indignation into the wrong things.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Today's Holiday

Pchum Ben (2020)

The 15-day period known as Pchum Ben in Cambodia is dedicated to rituals for the dead. It occurs during the rainy season when skies are usually overcast, and the darkness seems an appropriate time for Yama, God of the Underworld, to let the souls of the dead visit their families. The traditional offering to the dead consists of ben—special cakes made of glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and other ingredients—arranged on a platter around a centerpiece and placed on a pedestal. During this time a monk says prayers at the tombs of the dead. More...
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