Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, February 24, 2015)
Word of the Day

tergiversate

Definition:(verb) To use evasions or ambiguities; to change sides.
Synonyms:equivocate, prevaricate, palter
Usage: She refused to tergiversate on the subject, stating her opinion concisely and openly.
Article of the Day

Incunabula

Incunabula are "books of the cradle days" of printing, or books printed in the 15th century. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions. The books include products of more than 1,000 presses, including such famous printers as Gutenberg, Caxton, and Aldus Manutius, and give evidence as to the development of typography in its formative period. These books were generally large quarto size, bound in calf over boards of wood, and decorated with borders. What are some famous incunabula? More...
This Day in History

Diocletian Publishes Edict Calling for Persecution of Christians (303 CE)

Though the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians several times, his so-called Great Persecution began with an official edict. Churches were razed, scriptures burned, and practitioners executed. A few years later, he became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate, after which he retired to Croatia to grow cabbages in peace. The reign of Constantine soon made Christianity the empire's preferred religion. When asked to return to the throne, how did Diocletian reply? More...
Today's Birthday

Jacques de Vaucanson (1709)

The mechanically gifted 10th child of a French glove-maker, Vaucanson created some of the world's first robots. His famous gold-plated "Digesting Duck" had hundreds of moving parts and could eat, drink, and defecate. In 1745, weavers pelted Vaucanson with stones when he created the first fully-automated loom, which utilized punch-card technology. Decades later, his ideas would prove pivotal to the Industrial Revolution. How many songs could his mechanical flutist perform? More...
Quotation of the Day
Faith, n.: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Maha Shivaratri (2017)

Legend says that on this night Lord Shiva, the great god of destruction (who is also the restorer), danced the Tandav, his celestial dance of Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. Hindu devotees eat only once on the day before this "Night of Shiva," and then fast and tell stories about him. In India, pilgrims throng the Shiva shrines in Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu), Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh), and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), where special celebrations are held. Mandi in Himachal Pradesh becomes one big party. Devotees carry deities on temple chariots, and there are folk dances and folk music. More...
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