Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, July 14, 2012)
Word of the Day

rough-cut

Definition:(adjective) Lacking refinement or cultivation or taste.
Synonyms:uncouth, vulgar, coarse, common
Usage: My mechanic is a rough-cut man who makes little time for pleasantries, but I use him because he always gives me an honest price and does good work.
Article of the Day

Gegenschein

The gegenschein is an oval patch of faint light directly opposite the sun in the night sky. It is so faint that it can only be seen in the absence of moonlight and is lost in the light of the Milky Way except in the spring and fall. It is thought to be caused by sunlight reflecting off dust particles in space that may be part of Earth's tail of dust and gas. Danish astronomer Theodor Brorsen published an account of the phenomenon in 1854, about 50 years after it was observed and named by whom? More...
This Day in History

The Storming of the Bastille (1789)

The Bastille was a 14th-century fortress and a notorious state prison in Paris. In 1789, an angry mob stormed the prison, freeing the political prisoners held in the edifice that had come to symbolize the French monarchy's oppression of the people. The assault launched the French Revolution. Although the building itself was razed a year later, the Bastille became a symbol of French independence, and July 14th became a national holiday. How many prisoners were in the Bastille when it was stormed? More...
Today's Birthday

Owen Wister (1860)

Wister was an American author who is best remembered for his contributions to western fiction. A well-to-do Harvard graduate, he suffered from ill health and summered in the American West, where he gained much inspiration for his writings. His popular 1902 novel The Virginian is regarded as the first western. It tells the tale of a cattle rancher who depends on a harsh code of ethics, and it helped establish the cowboy as an American folk hero. To whom is the book dedicated? More...
Quotation of the Day
The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Idiom of the Day

faster than you can say Jack Robinson

Extremely quickly; almost immediately; suddenly or in a very short space of time. More...
Today's Holiday

Tekakwitha Feast Day (2017)

The first Native American to be beatified, Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) is a venerated figure among both Catholics and Native Americans. Catholic churches hold mass on her feast day, during which congregants may offer prayers to God through her intercession. Among the North American churches and shrines, sites that have noteworthy feast day celebrations are the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York, where she first encountered Christianity; and the Kateri Center at the Saint Francis-Xavier Mission at Kahnawake, Quebec, where she lived following her conversion. More...
In the News

Noise Pollution Killing Baby Birds

Researchers believe that noise could be to blame, at least in part, for the sharp decline of the UK's house sparrow population over the past four decades. There are a number of reasons why this might be. The leading hypothesis is that noise affects the selection of a mate, perhaps by drowning out mating calls. Another theory, supported by the observation that sparrows nesting in noisy areas are less effective at feeding their chicks, suggests that urban noise makes it difficult for adult birds to hear the hunger calls of their offspring and negatively affects the way the chicks are fed, thereby limiting their chances of survival. More...
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