Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 17, 2018)
Word of the Day

switchblade

Definition:(noun) A pocketknife having a spring-operated blade that opens instantly when a release on the handle is pressed.
Synonyms:flick-knife
Usage: When I heard his switchblade snap open, I knew that our verbal altercation was about to become something much more gruesome.
Article of the Day

One

Often known as the loneliest number, one, in mathematics, is the smallest whole number, the first cardinal number, and the first and second number in the Fibonacci sequence, the infinite sequence of numbers in which each term is the sum of the two terms preceding it. The glyph used today in the Western world to represent one—a vertical line, often with a serif at the top and sometimes a short horizontal line at the bottom—traces its roots back centuries. Is one a prime number? More...
This Day in History

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers. The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval. Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group. How long was he held captive? More...
Today's Birthday

Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (1706)

The wife of a French marquis, du Châtelet defied convention in both her personal and professional life. She was a mathematician and physicist and wrote a number of scientific treatises as well as a translation of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. She had several extramarital affairs—the most enduring of which was with philosopher and writer Voltaire, who once described her as "a great man whose only fault was being a woman." How did she once think her way out of a gambling debt? More...
Quotation of the Day
It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the 'race is for the strong' and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Today's Holiday

Wright Brothers Day (2018)

It was on the morning of December 17, 1903 that Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first men to fly and control a powered heavier-than-air machine. Events on December 17 traditionally include a "flyover" by military aircraft and a special ceremony held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, a 425-acre area that features a 60-foot granite pylon on top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers' camp was located. The flyover takes place at precisely 10:35 a.m., the time of the original flight in 1903. More...
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