Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, December 20, 2012)
Word of the Day

undistinguished

Definition:(adjective) Not worthy of notice.
Synonyms:insignificant
Usage: In spite of a loud voice … and an implacable manner, he had been an undistinguished member of most of the existing aeronautical associations.
Article of the Day

The Celestial Spheres

The concept of a spherical Earth was introduced by the ancient Greeks in the 6th century BCE. Hypotheses about its place in the universe soon followed. Ancient Greek philosophers imagined our motionless planet at the center of the universe, with all the celestial bodies revolving around it in a series of nested, concentric spheres. That theory dominated astronomy until the advent of the Sun-centered Copernican system in the 16th century. According to Aristotle, what moved each planet's sphere? More...
This Day in History

South Carolina Becomes the First State to Secede from the US (1860)

In the 1830s, South Carolina residents, frustrated by agricultural tariffs, broached the possibility of secession. Tariff reform appeased them for some time, but following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The state's governor immediately demanded all federal property within the state, including Fort Sumter. The firing on Sumter by Confederate batteries in 1861 precipitated the Civil War. When was the US flag raised over Fort Sumter again? More...
Today's Birthday

Branch Wesley Rickey (1881)

Rickey was an American baseball executive. In 1919, he devised baseball's farm system of using minor-league teams to train major-league players. In 1945, after he took over the Brooklyn Dodgers, he defied convention and broke a long-standing race barrier by hiring Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues. A deeply religious man, the "Mahatma"—as Rickey was popularly known—never played, attended, or managed games on Sundays. What protective gear did he introduce to baseball? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is not right to glory in the slain.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC)

Idiom of the Day

a head-scratcher

A thoroughly complex or difficult mystery, problem, puzzle, or riddle. More...
Today's Holiday

Halcyon Days (2016)

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the "Halcyon Days." Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx's wife and one of Aeolus's daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression "halcyon days" has come to mean a period of tranquillity, often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More...
In the News

Stroke Sends Iraqi President to the Hospital

Iraqi president Jalal Talabani was hospitalized earlier this week after suffering a stroke and will be transported to Germany for further treatment. Official statements list the statesman's condition as stable; however, unofficial sources claim that his condition is much more serious and that he may even be comatose. Talabani's deteriorating health could have significant consequences for Iraq, because although his office is largely ceremonial, Talabani has been instrumental in brokering agreements between sectarian and ethnic groups. More...
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