Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, November 21, 2016)
Word of the Day

neophyte

Definition:(noun) A beginner or novice.
Synonyms:fledgling, newbie, newcomer, freshman, entrant, starter
Usage: You have no right to preach to me, you neophyte, that have not passed the porch of life, and are absolutely unacquainted with its mysteries.
Article of the Day

Chalk Streams

Chalk streams are watercourses originating from chalk hills, where rainwater soaks into the ground and is trapped by porous chalk rock. The chalk acts as an aquifer, filtering the water that passes through it and creating a clear, mineral-rich spring lower down on the slope. Because the chalk also regulates the flow of water to the waterway below, there is little day-to-day variation in the amount of water entering the stream. Such conditions make chalk streams an ideal venue for what activity? More...
This Day in History

First Manned, Untethered Hot Air Balloon Flight (1783)

The pioneering ballooning efforts of the Montgolfier brothers of France made 1783 a noteworthy year in aviation history. That year, the pair developed the first practical hot-air balloon—and demonstrated its safety by sending aloft a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. Months later, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, made the first manned, untethered flight in a Montgolfier balloon, but they had not been the first choices to pilot the historic flight. Who were? More...
Today's Birthday

René Magritte (1898)

Before gaining the support of a Brussels art gallery and taking up painting full-time, Magritte earned a living designing wallpaper and advertisements. His early works were in the Cubist and Futurist styles, but he soon embraced Surrealism. Dislocations of space, time, and scale were common elements in his illogical paintings, and he used certain images—the sea, the female torso, the bourgeois "little man" in a bowler hat—repeatedly. Why did art thieves return a stolen Magritte painting in 2012? More...
Quotation of the Day
Friendless, adj.: Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today's Holiday

Arbaeen Pilgrimage (2016)

In the year 680 CE, Imam al-Hussein died during the Battle of Taf in Karbala, Iraq. He was the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and, for Shiite Muslims, one of the three holiest figures in their religion. To commemorate his passing, Shiites from around the world hold the week-long Arbaeen Pilgrimage to his gravesite 40 days after his death. This period of 40 days is the traditional Muslim mourning period following a death. Imam al-Hussein's tomb is in the town of Karbala, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. For Shiite Muslims, the city is also believed to be a gate to paradise. More...
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