Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, September 26, 2012)
Word of the Day

crackpot

Definition:(noun) A whimsically eccentric person.
Synonyms:fruitcake, nut case, screwball, crank
Usage: By wearing a tinfoil hat everywhere he goes, Mr. Williams has earned himself a reputation as the town crackpot.
Article of the Day

The Siege Tower

Dating to antiquity, siege towers were large, portable structures that aided soldiers in scaling defensive walls and shielded them as they did so. The massive towers were filled with soldiers and then wheeled up to the walls of a besieged fortress, whereupon gangplanks would be lowered to allow the invading force access. Archers and catapults were often positioned on top of the towers so that they could fire upon enemies during an assault. What protected the wooden towers from flaming arrows? More...
This Day in History

Steamship RMS Queen Mary Is Launched (1934)

Construction on the Queen Mary ocean liner began in Scotland in 1930. In 1934, British King George V's consort, Queen Mary, christened the ship in her own name. Operated by the Cunard Line, the glamorous luxury ship carried passengers between New York and England for decades—except during World War II, when it was painted grey and converted to carry troops. In the 1960s, air travel rendered transatlantic passenger ships obsolete, and the Queen Mary was retired. Where is it now? More...
Today's Birthday

Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot (1888)

Eliot was an American-British poet and critic and an immensely distinguished literary figure who, from the 1920s on, was the most influential English-language modernist poet. His early poems, such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Waste Land," express the anguish and barrenness of modern life and the isolation of the individual. In his later poetry, he turned from spiritual desolation to hope for human salvation. What book by Eliot is the basis for the musical Cats? More...
Quotation of the Day
The true artist is a man who believes absolutely in himself, because he is absolutely himself.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

l'esprit de l'escalier

A French phrase meaning "the wit of the staircase"; a perfect witty remark, retort, or rejoinder that occurs to one after the fact or too late to be used. (Also written as "l'esprit d'escalier.") More...
Today's Holiday

Birthday of Johnny Appleseed (2017)

John Chapman—better known as Johnny Appleseed for his lifelong dedication to planting apple seedlings all over the American Midwest—was born on this day in 1774. While some frontier settlers thought he was a saint, or at the very least a religious fanatic, with his tin pot hat and coffee-sack tunic, the Native Americans regarded him as a great medicine man since he planted herbs as well as apples. More...
In the News

New, Deadly Virus Linked to SARS

A new respiratory illness that has killed one and left another in critical condition has been identified, and researchers say the virus that causes it is in the same family as the SARS virus, which infected thousands and killed hundreds around the world in an outbreak in 2002 and 2003. International health authorities are on alert, but no travel restrictions have yet been issued, as there have been only two confirmed cases of the new illness thus far. Both of those cases have been traced to the Middle East, and there is no indication that the disease has spread. More...
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