Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 8, 2011)
Word of the Day

wailful

Definition:(adjective) Vocally expressing grief or sorrow or resembling such expression.
Synonyms:lamenting
Usage: The men wavered in indecision for a moment, and then with a long, wailful cry the dilapidated regiment surged forward and began its new journey.
Article of the Day

Solar Sails

The electromagnetic radiation carried by solar wind exerts pressure on surfaces that absorb or reflect it. Though small, this force can be harnessed and used as a form of space propulsion requiring no fuel. Solar sails are lightweight, highly reflective devices that harness this force and, when attached to spacecrafts, may be used to modify their orbits, perform fine trajectory corrections, and even drive interplanetary flights. Has a working solar sail ever been successfully tested? More...
This Day in History

Star Trek Premieres (1966)

Though the original Star Trek series was cancelled in its third season, the groundbreaking show—in which William Shatner's memorable Captain Kirk leads the crew of the starship Enterprise—developed a cult following of "Trekkies." Over the next four decades, the influential science-fiction franchise spawned five more Star Trek series, more than 10 feature films, and myriad conventions. Its motto, "to boldly go where no man has gone before," may have been partially copied from what source? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Jarry (1873)

Jarry was a French writer. After exhausting the inheritance that had allowed him to move to Paris at 18, he led a life of calculated buffoonery. His 1896 farce, Ubu Roi, is considered a forerunner of theatre of the absurd and of Surrealism. It featured the grotesque Père Ubu, a repulsive and cowardly hero based on one of his former teachers. The brilliant imagery and wit of his works usually lapse into unintelligible symbolism. A heavy drinker, he died at 34. What was his last request? More...
Quotation of the Day
The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

laughing in the aisles

Laughing uproariously or hysterically. (Used especially in the phrase "have someone laughing in the aisles.") More...
Today's Holiday

Andorra National Day (2017)

The Principality of Andorra, located in the Pyrénées Mountains between France and Spain, was founded by the Emperor Charlemagne. The people of Andorra celebrate their National Day by honoring Jungfrau von Meritxell, their patron saint. Pilgrims climb to her hilltop sanctuary near the villages of Encamp and Canillo, where her statue was found by a shepherd under an almond tree blooming out of season. The pilgrims stop to refresh themselves with drinks that have been cooled in the nearby springs, and after the sermon they celebrate by dancing and eating lamb grilled on slabs of slate. More...
In the News

Two Accused of Twitter Terrorism

A radio host and a math teacher in Mexico are facing charges of terrorism and sabotage—and up to 30 years in prison—for tweets and Facebook messages they posted online last month. The two are accused of posting false reports about shootouts and kidnappings at schools in the Veracruz area, causing widespread chaos, traffic jams, and car accidents as panicked parents rushed to save their children. The charges are among the most serious ever brought in relation to Twitter posts and have prompted a backlash from those who believe that the charges are too harsh and violate social media users' freedom of expression. More...
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