Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, February 16, 2018)
Word of the Day

spellbound

Definition:(adjective) Having your attention fixated as though by a spell.
Synonyms:fascinated, hypnotized, mesmerized, transfixed
Usage: Nobody thought about her appearance when the power and magic of her voice caught and held her listeners spellbound.
Article of the Day

Fatal Hilarity

People can and do die of laughter. The 3rd century BCE philosopher Chrysippus, for example, is said to have laughed himself to death while watching the antics of a drunken donkey. In 1410, Martin I of Aragon succumbed to a combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughter. More recently, a UK man died of heart failure after laughing for 25 minutes at a TV show featuring a Scotsman in a kilt battling a vicious black pudding. What other historical figures have died from laughter? More...
This Day in History

The Altmark Incident (1940)

While passing through neutral Norwegian waters during WWII, the German supply vessel Altmark was boarded by Norwegian inspectors. They were told the craft was merely a commercial ship, but it was in fact being used to transport 299 British prisoners of war. The captives tried to make their presence known by banging on the hull, but winches were run to drown them out. The Royal Navy, however, pursued the ship and mounted a rescue. What now-famous phrase alerted the men to their liberation? More...
Today's Birthday

Vera Menchik (1906)

A Russian-born British international chess master, Menchik won seven consecutive Women's World Chess Championships, beginning with the first one ever held and ending in 1939, when World War II halted the tournament. She and her family were killed in an air raid on London in 1944. When Menchik entered a men's tournament in 1929, Viennese master Albert Becker ridiculed her by saying that anyone who lost to her should become a part of the "Vera Menchik Club." Who was the first of its many members? More...
Quotation of the Day
The world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune, and willingly avoids the sight of distress.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Today's Holiday

Tet (Vietnamese New Year) (2018)

The Vietnamese New Year, Tet, is an abbreviation for Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning "first day." This is the most important festival of the year, signifying both the beginning of the year and of spring. At the start of the festival, the Spirit of the Hearth goes to the abode of the Emperor of Jade to report on family members. At midnight the New Year and the return of the Spirit of the Hearth are welcomed with firecrackers, gongs, and drums. A favorite food of the festival is banh chung, made from sticky rice, yellow beans, pig fat, and spices wrapped in leaves. More...
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