Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, February 03, 2013)
Word of the Day

clepsydra

Definition:(noun) Clock that measures time by the escape of water.
Synonyms:water clock, water glass
Usage: The Wicked Witch dared not use a clepsydra, as its contents could destroy her.
Article of the Day

Spark Gap

A spark gap consists of two electrodes that are separated—usually by air—to allow a spark to form between them. Small spark gaps are used to ignite combustion in engines, and huge spark gaps are used in high-voltage switches at electrical substations. Spark gaps can also be used in novelty devices such as the "Jacob's ladder," in which electric arcs continuously stream upward between two wires. How are such toys dangerous to houseplants? More...
This Day in History

Harold Macmillan Delivers "Wind of Change" Speech (1960)

British statesman Harold Macmillan held several government posts during World War II, including minister resident in North Africa. After serving in several other positions, he became prime minister in 1957. Macmillan accelerated Britain's decolonization, especially in Africa. In a memorable speech to the South African parliament in 1960, he said a "wind of change" was sweeping across Africa, which was experiencing a growth in national consciousness. What were the reactions to the speech? More...
Today's Birthday

Norman Rockwell (1894)

Rockwell was an American illustrator whose idealized scenes of family life in small-town America gained enormous popularity with the public. His illustrations appeared in major periodicals such as Collier's and Life. From 1916 to 1963, he produced 317 covers for The Saturday Evening Post, and during WWII his patriotic posters were distributed by the government. What unusually serious subject did the sentimental illustrator cover for Look magazine later in his career? More...
Quotation of the Day
To be different from your fellow creatures is always a misfortune.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Idiom of the Day

however much

No matter how much. More...
Today's Holiday

Quebec Winter Carnival (2017)

The celebration of winter that has been held since the mid-1950s in Quebec City ranks among the great carnivals of the world. It begins with the Queen's Ball at the Château Frontenac and a parade of illuminated floats. More than 40,000 tons of snow are trucked in to construct a large snow castle, which is illuminated at night and which serves as a mock jail. Bonhomme Carnaval, the festival's seven-foot-high snowman mascot dressed in a red cap and traditional sash, roams the streets teasing children and looking for people to lock up in the Ice Palace. More...
In the News

Chinese Millionaire Fighting Pollution with Canned Air

Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese multimillionaire who made his fortune in the recycling business, is trying to draw attention to the importance of environmental protection with a tongue-in-cheek "Fresh Air" campaign. China's air quality is notoriously bad, and in recent weeks, the air pollution in Beijing has reached particularly dangerous levels. So for one day last week, Chen handed out free samples of his canned fresh air product, which usually sells for 5 yuan (80 cents). Proceeds from the sale of the cans go to various philanthropic causes. More...
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