Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, December 06, 2011)
Word of the Day

quadrilateral

Definition:(noun) A four-sided polygon.
Synonyms:tetragon
Usage: Our geometry teacher drew several shapes on the chalkboard, including triangles, circles, and quadrilaterals.
Article of the Day

Peter the Great

Peter I was Tsar of Russia from 1682 to 1725. Credited with introducing Western technology and raising Russia to a position among the great European powers, he is widely considered one of the outstanding rulers and reformers in Russian history. However, some of his reforms were implemented viciously, and his legacy has been seen as a model for Joseph Stalin's brutal transformation of Russian life. What did he do when he suspected that his son was conspiring against him? More...
This Day in History

US Federal Judge Rules James Joyce's Ulysses Not Obscene (1933)

For more than a decade after its debut, James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, was banned in the US. A literary magazine had attempted to publish it in serial form, but the series was cut short after the publishers ran a rather suggestive passage and were convicted of obscenity. When the implicit ban on the book was finally challenged in 1933, Judge John M. Woolsey praised the work for its literary merits and ruled that it was not obscene. How did a publisher force the issue to court? More...
Today's Birthday

Joyce Kilmer (1886)

Kilmer was a prolific poet who celebrated nature and faith in short, sentimental verse. His works, now mostly forgotten, have been dismissed by modern scholars as overly simplistic. Today, his reputation largely rests on the wide popularity of a single 1913 poem, "Trees." It begins, "I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree," and many specific trees have been proposed as Kilmer's inspiration. His career was cut short when what killed him at age 31? More...
Quotation of the Day
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

kiss and cry

An area in an ice skating rink where figure skaters rest while awaiting their results after a competitive performance. So named because competitors typically celebrate or commiserate (depending on their performance) with coaches, friends, or family in this location. More...
Today's Holiday

Finland Independence Day (2017)

The Finnish people lived under Russian control beginning in 1809. The Finnish nationalist movement grew in the 1800s, and when the Bolsheviks took over Russia on November 7, 1917, the Finns saw a time to declare their independence. They did so on December 6 of that same year. This day is a national holiday celebrated with military parades in Helsinki and performances at the National Theater. It is traditionally a solemn occasion that begins with a parade of students carrying torches and one flag for each year of independence. More...
In the News

World War II-Era Bombs Defused in Germany

Over the weekend, bomb squads in Germany successfully defused two World War II-era bombs that were discovered in the riverbed of the Rhine when water levels dropped to record lows last week. Since about 12 percent of the bombs dropped on Germany by the Allies in World War II failed to explode, these sorts of discoveries are not uncommon. Still, they present a real danger and must be handled with care. Some 45,000 people in the surrounding area were evacuated before bomb-disposal experts began defusing the devices. The larger of the two bombs weighed nearly 2 tons, but the smaller one, which weighed only about 275 lb (125 kg), proved to be the greater challenge. More...
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