Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

Greek Art

This Day in History


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Kecksburg UFO Incident (1965)

Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Many believe that the large fireball observed in the sky above Ontario, Canada, and at least six US states in 1965 was nothing more than a passing meteor. However, some witnesses in the small town of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, claim a car-sized, acorn-shaped object with hieroglyphic-like markings crashed in a nearby wood and was then carted off by the military. Government officials long denied these allegations, but 40 years later, in 2005, NASA made what admission regarding the suspicious object? Discuss

Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma (1854)

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

The Immaculate Conception is the Roman Catholic dogma that asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved from the stain of original sin—the condition of sin that marks all humans as a result of Adam's first act of disobedience—at the moment of her conception. In 1709, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Immaculate Conception a holy day of obligation—145 years before it became official church dogma. The Immaculate Conception is often confused with what other church doctrine?

The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor (1941)

Wed, 7 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

The surprise aerial attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, destroyed 188 aircraft and several American naval vessels, killed more than 2,300 American military personnel, and wounded more than 1,100. The following day, the US declared war on Japan, entering World War II. Pearl Harbor is now a national historic landmark, and a memorial has been built over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona. How many Japanese planes attacked the American fleet that fateful day?

Word Trivia


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

colophon - A crowning or finishing touch, from Greek kolophon, "summit" or "finishing stroke." More...

knoll - The summit or rounded top of a mountain or hill, it seems to derive from Old Teutonic knoo-lo, meaning "ball, clod, knot." More...

acrobat - Derived from Greek akrobatos, "walking on tiptoe," from Greek akron, "summit," and baino, "walk." More...

knap - The crest or summit of a hill. More...


Thu, 8 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

magazine - Considered a "storehouse" for articles; the word comes from Arabic makhzan, "storehouse," and was first used in book titles presenting a "store" of information about specific topics. More...

ambry - Another word for a treasury, storehouse, place to keep things. More...

garner - Originally a storehouse or granary. More...

thesaurus - Comes from Greek thesauros, meaning "storehouse, treasury," and its original sense was "dictionary or encyclopedia," but this was narrowed to the current meaning with the appearance of Roget's in 1852. More...


Wed, 7 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

desipient - A fancy way to say "silly, trifling, foolish." More...

fond - First meant "foolish, silly." More...

footle, footling - To footle is to talk or act foolishly, from the old verb meaning "bungle"; as an adjective, footle (or footling) refers to something trifling or silly. More...

simper - To smile in a silly or self-conscious way. More...

Today's Birthdays


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Fritz Haber (1868)

Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Haber was a Nobel Prize-winning German chemist whose work was instrumental in the development of poison gas during World War I. He was unwavering in his support of chemical warfare and staunchly defended his work against critics, though he might have felt differently had he known how the Nazis would use the gas he helped develop against its own people—indeed Haber's own relatives—just a few years later. His wife, on the other hand, was deeply opposed. In what way did she protest his work? Discuss

Eli Whitney (1765)

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Whitney was the inventor of the cotton gin, a mechanical device that separates cotton fiber from its seeds. His invention, which had immense economic and social ramifications, brought great wealth to many others, but little to Whitney himself. In 1798, he built a firearms factory, and his products were some of the first to have standardized, interchangeable parts. Why did Whitney's ginning company go out of business only three years after he received his cotton gin patent?

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598)

Wed, 7 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Bernini, a 17th-century artist and architect, was a leading figure in the development of the Italian baroque style. Among his best-known sculptures, which often combine white and colored marble with bronze and stucco, are the Cornaro Chapel's Ecstasy of St. Teresa and the David displayed at the Borghese Gallery. Bernini also designed the magnificent baldachin, or canopy, inside St. Peter's Basilica. Bernini's designs for the façade of what famed museum were rejected?

Article of the Day


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by sudden, uncontrollable, and often brief attacks of sleep, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations. Its cause is unknown, it has no cure, but it is fairly common—the US alone is home to some 200,000 narcoleptics. People with narcolepsy may abruptly fall asleep at any time, including while talking or even walking. The attacks can range from embarrassing and inconvenient to severely disruptive of daily life. How is narcolepsy diagnosed? Discuss

The Champs-Élysées

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

This avenue in Paris, France, leads from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. It is divided in two by the Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. The lower part, toward the Place de la Concorde, is surrounded by gardens, museums, theaters, and restaurants. The upper part, toward the Arc de Triomphe, was traditionally a luxury commercial district. Twelve avenues radiate to form a star at the avenue's upper end, with the Arc de Triomphe at its center. To what does the avenue's name refer?

Basket Weaving

Wed, 7 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Basketry is the ancient art of weaving flexible materials to form vessels or other objects. Baskets used for storing grain in 4000 or 5000 BCE have been excavated in Egypt, and the tombs of Etruria have yielded ancient specimens that, along with much later Roman baskets, display weaving strokes still in use. There are many commercial basket-weaving establishments today, but basketry remains a popular home industry. How were baskets used to transport vital information during the World Wars?

Quotations of the Day


Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Lewis Carroll

Fri, 9 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

Sentence first, verdict afterwards. Discuss

Arthur Conan Doyle

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.

Oscar Wilde

Wed, 7 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.

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