Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, February 11, 2012)
Word of the Day

bird's-eye

Definition:(adjective) As from an altitude or distance.
Synonyms:panoramic
Usage: Another pedestrian had entered from the other end…with an astrakhan collar to his coat on this warm night, and a black slouch hat that hid his features from my bird's-eye view.
Article of the Day

Altars

Altars are tables or platforms upon which sacrifices or other offerings are made. Though today they are typically found inside houses of worship or private homes, altars in the ancient world were almost exclusively constructed outdoors. An altar's design varies according to its purpose. For example, an altar used for burnt offerings will have a hollow for a fire, while one used for bloody sacrifices will have a drain. What do Taoists burn to ensure that the dead have money in the afterlife? More...
This Day in History

Lateran Treaty Signed Between Italy and the Vatican (1929)

The Lateran Treaty ended the political dispute between the Italian government and the Papacy that began when Italy took Rome as its capital in 1871 and limited papal sovereignty to just a few buildings. The treaty created Vatican City and gave the Holy See sovereignty there. Though Italy was under fascist control when the treaty was signed, successive governments have upheld the agreement. The Lateran Treaty established Roman Catholicism as the state religion of Italy. When did this change? More...
Today's Birthday

Leo Szilard (1898)

Szilard was a Hungarian-American nuclear physicist who, after immigrating to America from Nazi Germany, was instrumental in the development of nuclear weapons. Working with Enrico Fermi, he developed the first self-sustained nuclear reactor based on uranium fission. He was one of the first to realize that nuclear chain reactions could be used in bombs and, in 1939, helped to establish the Manhattan Project. Later he protested nuclear warfare and decided to study what instead? More...
Quotation of the Day
Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

all the difference in the world

The greatest degree of difference that is possible or conceivable. Without the verbs "mean" or "make," it is used to compare two disparate things. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Sarkis's Day (2017)

In Armenia, St. Sarkis is associated with predictions about love and romance. It is customary for young lovers to put out crumbs for birds and watch to see which way the birds fly off, for it is believed that their future spouse will come from the same direction. It is also traditional to leave some pokhint—a dish made of flour, butter, and honey—outside the door on St. Sarkis's Day. According to legend, when St. Sarkis was battling the Georgians, the roasted wheat in his pocket miraculously turned into pokhint. More...
In the News

Why Zebras Have Stripes. Maybe

Many theories exist to explain the striped coat of the zebra—that it helps the animals recognize one another, that it camouflages them in tall grass and confuses predators—but the results of a new study seem to suggest that it evolved for another reason entirely. It appears that the zebra's black-and-white stripes are unattractive to blood-sucking flies. Researchers found that horseflies were most attracted to dark-colored horses, whose coats reflect horizontally polarized light. White coats reflect unpolarized light that was found to be much less attractive to flies. Least attractive, however, was the zebra's coat, which reflects light in alternately polarized and unpolarized patterns. More...
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