Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 12, 2016)
Word of the Day

lackey

Definition:(noun) A servile follower.
Synonyms:toady, crawler, sycophant
Usage: The archdeacon had in Quasimodo the most submissive slave, the most docile lackey, the most vigilant of dogs.
Article of the Day

Olbers's Paradox

If the universe is assumed to contain an infinite number of uniformly distributed luminous stars, then every point in the sky should be as bright as a star. So why is the sky dark at night? That is the question posed by Olbers's paradox, named for astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, who described it in 1823, more than 200 years after Johannes Kepler first posed the question as an argument against the notion of a limitless universe with infinite stars. How has the paradox since been resolved? More...
This Day in History

Nazi Commandos Rescue Imprisoned Benito Mussolini (1943)

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed by his own government. When German forces discovered that he was being held at a ski resort in the Apennine Mountains, they launched a daring rescue. Arriving on gliders, German troops overwhelmed Mussolini's captors and spirited him away without firing a shot. The operation was a major propaganda success for the Nazis. According to some accounts, what was Mussolini's reply when the paratroopers told him that Adolf Hitler had sent them? More...
Today's Birthday

Henry Louis "H.L." Mencken (1880)

Often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century, Mencken was a journalist, satirist, social critic, and cynic known as the "Sage of Baltimore," for the city where he lived his entire life. Perhaps best remembered for his satirical reporting on the Scopes evolution trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey trial," Mencken was frequently critical of myriad institutions. Why did the Arkansas legislature pass a motion in 1931 to pray for Mencken's soul? More...
Quotation of the Day
Capital, n.: The seat of misgovernment.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

lay (one's) life on the line

To put oneself in harm's way (to achieve something), especially at the risk of losing one's life. (Sometimes used hyperbolically.) More...
Today's Holiday

Defenders' Day (2017)

Defenders' Day, a legal holiday in Maryland, celebrates the anniversary of the battle of North Point. The battle took place near Baltimore on September 12, 1814; two days later, the unsuccessful British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to jot down the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner." For this reason the two events are celebrated more or less in conjunction on September 12. Defenders' Day is celebrated with a number of patriotic events, including an annual mock bombardment of the fort on the weekend nearest September 12. More...
In the News

World's Wilderness Reduced by a Tenth Since 1990s

A tenth of the world's wilderness has vanished in the past two decades, research shows. New maps show "alarming losses" of pristine landscapes, particularly in South America and Africa, according to World Conservation Society scientists. They argue in ... More...
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