Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, January 10, 2020)
Word of the Day

nitty-gritty

Definition:(noun) The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience.
Synonyms:essence, heart and soul, inwardness, gist, pith, substance, meat, nub, kernel, sum, core, marrow, center
Usage: While I will devote some time to Thomas Edison's personal life, his many inventions will compose the nitty-gritty of my presentation.
Article of the Day

The Venerable Bede

Officially recognized as a saint in 1899, Bede (673?-735) was an English Benedictine monk who, from the age of seven, lived in monasteries and became probably the most learned man in Western Europe in his day. His writings, virtually a summary of the learning of his time, consist of theological, historical, and scientific treatises. He consulted many documents, discussed their reliability, and cited them as sources—highly unusual practices at the time. What dating method did he help popularize? More...
This Day in History

London Underground Begins Operation (1863)

The world's first subway line opened in London in 1863. It was 3.75 mi (6 km) long and soon carried tens of thousands of passengers each day—transporting 9.5 million in its first year. Initially steam-powered, the system first electrified some of its lines in 1890. By 1896, it was fully electrified. Today, the London Underground system is one of the largest in the world, with 256 mi (410 km) of track and 270 stations. What is the record for visiting them all in the shortest amount of time? More...
Today's Birthday

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834)

Denied admission to Cambridge University because of his Roman Catholicism, Acton studied instead in Munich. He went on to become a noted historian and member of English Parliament. Outspoken against arbitrary power, he was also an editor of a Catholic monthly but resigned due to papal criticism of his scientific approach to history. He coined the saying "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Another of Acton's sayings is that a strong man with a dagger is followed by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Today's Holiday

Benin National Vodoun Day (2021)

Vodoun is an ancient, African, pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as "Voodoo." The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. The day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration's central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor. More...
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