Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 5, 2012)
Word of the Day

shirty

Definition:(adjective) (British informal) Ill-tempered or annoyed.
Synonyms:snorty
Usage: He was a bit shirty with her when she arrived late.
Article of the Day

The Moon Illusion

The Moon illusion is an optical illusion that causes the Moon to appear larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky. It has been pondered since antiquity, and a number of explanations have been proposed. A popular early theory, dating back to at least the 4th century BCE, asserts that the Moon’s appearance is magnified by the atmosphere, but photographs have disproven this idea. Scientists today are still unable to fully explain the illusion. What other theories have been proposed? More...
This Day in History

The Battle of Wagram Begins (1809)

The two-day Battle of Wagram signaled the end of the 1809 War of the Fifth Coalition between the kingdoms of Austria and France. Due to the battle's then-unprecedented use of artillery, both sides suffered tens of thousands of casualties. The Austrians were broken by the battle. Napoleon's victory forced Archduke Charles of Austria to accept unfavorable armistice conditions, stripping Austria of land and subjects. The battle might have ended differently if who had shown up in time? More...
Today's Birthday

David Glasgow Farragut (1801)

Adopted by a naval officer as a child, Farragut began his naval career as a midshipman at age nine. During the US Civil War, he ran his ships past Confederate forts to capture New Orleans. The victory earned him a prominent place in the Union navy. He was again promoted in 1864, after leading a successful assault on a heavily mined Confederate port. Famously, upon losing a ship during the attack, he allegedly cried out "Damn the torpedoes–full speed ahead!" What naval rank was created for him? More...
Quotation of the Day
Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

cost the earth

To be exorbitant or burdensome in expense. More...
Today's Holiday

Algeria Independence Day (2017)

On this day in 1962, more than 100 years of French rule in Algeria came to an end as France officially recognized a referendum for independence that was passed by a vote of the Algerian people on July 1. Algerians had struggled for independence, or at least equality with the French occupants of their land, with organized movements for revolution since the end of World War I. Independence Day is a legal holiday in Algeria. Another important celebration takes place on Algeria National Day, which commemorates the day the successful revolution against the French began. More...
In the News

Five Million Test-Tube Babies Born Worldwide

The birth of Louise Brown, the world's first so-called test-tube baby, made headlines around the globe in 1978. The use of in vitro fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproductive technique in which the egg is fertilized outside the womb and then implanted in the uterus, was considered controversial at the time, but in the decades since, it has been widely accepted and has helped millions of infertile couples to conceive. To date, experts estimate that five million test-tube babies have been born. About 350,000 enter the world every year. More...
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