Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 22, 2015)
Word of the Day

besmirch

Definition:(verb) Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone.
Synonyms:asperse, calumniate, defame, slander, denigrate, sully, smear
Usage: She denied everything the tabloids wrote about her, stating that they were only trying to besmirch her reputation.
Article of the Day

Quicksand

Quicksand is a bed of loose sand mixed with water that forms a soft shifting mass that yields easily to pressure and tends to engulf any object resting on its surface. It is usually found at the mouth of a river or along a stream or beach. Although it is possible for a person to drown while mired in quicksand, the human body is less dense than quicksand, so getting stuck in it is not as dangerous as it is often portrayed in movies. What is the recommended method for escaping quicksand? More...
This Day in History

Swiss Guard Arrives at the Vatican (1506)

Though various units of Swiss Guards have existed throughout history, the most famous unit—and the only one remaining—is responsible for the safety of the Pope. Known for their colorful uniforms, the guards must be single, Swiss, and Catholic and must have completed Swiss military training. The first 150 Swiss mercenaries were invited to the Vatican during the reign of Pope Julius II. In 1527, 147 of the Swiss Guards were killed while helping the Pope escape from whom? More...
Today's Birthday

Pierre Gassendi (1592)

As a priest and a professor, Gassendi lectured on theology in his native southeastern France. However, as a philosopher, scientist, and astronomer, he was compelled to try to reconcile his scientific beliefs with the teachings of the church. Dissatisfied with the teachings of Aristotle, he came to espouse empiricism and atomism, the belief that tiny, indestructible particles form the basic building blocks of the entire universe. In 1631, he became the first person to observe what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words, —'Wait and hope'.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Today's Holiday

St. Vincent's Day (2021)

São Vicente St. Vincent of Saragossa is the patron saint of Lisbon, Portugal. In Lisbon, people celebrate his feast day with processions and prayers. But in the surrounding rural areas, there are a number of folk traditions associated with this day. Farmers believe that by carrying a resin torch to the top of a high hill on January 22, they can predict what the coming harvest will be like. If the wind extinguishes the flame, the crops will be abundant; if the torch continues to burn, a poor growing season lies ahead. More...
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