Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 14, 2013)
Word of the Day

hilarity

Definition:(noun) Great merriment.
Synonyms:glee, mirthfulness
Usage: When she was gone, I felt as if there was to be no more fun—though it is difficult to say what she had contributed to the hilarity of the party.
Article of the Day

The Maunder Minimum

The Maunder Minimum was the 70-year period from about 1645 to 1715 when sunspots were exceedingly rare, as noted by the solar observers of the time. The years of the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters—leading to speculation that the phenomena were related. Astronomer John A. Eddy popularized the concept in his landmark 1976 paper "The Maunder Minimum." Who was the eponymous Maunder? More...
This Day in History

British Troops Are Deployed in Northern Ireland (1969)

In August 1969, tensions between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland came to a head in the predominantly-Catholic Bogside neighborhood of Londonderry. For days, fighting raged with Catholic residents on one side and police and Protestant residents on the other. On August 14, British troops were deployed to restore order. Some consider that day to be the definitive beginning of the decades-long conflict known as The Troubles. How did residents react to the arrival of the army? More...
Today's Birthday

Hans Christian Ørsted (1777)

Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist. In 1820, he discovered that electric current passing through a wire can deflect a nearby compass needle, a phenomenon that inspired the development of electromagnetic theory. His 1820 discovery of piperine, one of the pungent components of pepper, was an important contribution to chemistry. In 1824, he founded a society devoted to the spread of scientific knowledge among the general public. What unit of measurement was named after him? More...
Quotation of the Day
If I got places, sir, it was because I made myself fit for 'em. If you want to slip into a round hole, you must make a ball of yourself.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

knock (someone) over with a feather

To shock, confuse, or astonish someone to a point of complete bewilderment; throw someone for a loop. More often phrased as "you could have knocked me over with a feather," expressing great bewilderment or surprise. More...
Today's Holiday

Pakistan Independence Day (2017)

On this day in 1947, Pakistan gained independence from Britain. Pakistan had been part of the immense British colony of India since the 18th century. Independence Day is a national holiday observed in much the same way as Pakistan Day. More...
In the News

Illegal Rooftop Mountain Villa Ordered Demolished

A Chinese man illegally constructed a fake mountaintop and villa on the roof of a 26-story high-rise apartment building in Beijing. It is a sight reminiscent of the over-the-top, preposterous lairs belonging to the hapless villain Dr. Evil, of Austin Powers fame, but this is a residential building, not a Hollywood film set. Residents fear the 8,600-sqare-foot (800-sqare-meter) rooftop "mountain" has compromised the structural integrity of the edifice. Authorities have ordered that the addition, which was built without permits, be removed before the end of the month. More...
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