Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 17, 2016)
Word of the Day

putsch

Definition:(noun) A sudden attempt by a group to overthrow a government.
Synonyms:coup, coup d'etat, takeover
Usage: The people had been expecting a putsch for years, but they were surprised to wake up one morning and find themselves the subjects of a new government.
Article of the Day

Groupthink

In order to minimize conflict and avoid embarrassment, group members often refrain from promoting viewpoints that deviate from the apparent group consensus. This mode of thinking is known as "groupthink" and is characterized by extensive self-censorship among group members who unquestioningly believe in the morality of the group. Striving for unanimity without appraising alternative courses of action can often have dire consequences. What fiasco inspired the study of the concept of "groupthink"? More...
This Day in History

H. L. Hunley Becomes First Submarine to Sink an Enemy Warship (1864)

The US Civil War-era submarine Hunley required an eight-man crew—seven to power the propeller with a hand-crank and one to steer. Within months of its launch, the Confederate sub had sunk and been salvaged twice, taking the lives of five crewmen the first time and the entire crew the second. Manned with a new crew, Hunley became the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, yet the achievement was marred when the sub itself sank, killing all aboard yet again. When was it recovered? More...
Today's Birthday

Isabelle Eberhardt (1877)

As a Swiss explorer traveling in North Africa, Eberhardt often dressed as a man to move more freely through Arab society. Intensely independent, she took the side of Algerians fighting against colonial French rule. She converted to Islam, was initiated into a Sufi brotherhood, and married an Algerian soldier. She wrote about her travels in books and newspapers. She survived a murder attempt—in which her arm was badly injured by a saber—only to die at the age of 27 in what unlikely fashion? More...
Quotation of the Day
The land of literature is a fairy-land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Today's Holiday

Quirinalia (2021)

Quirinus was an ancient Roman deity who closely resembled Mars, the god of war. His name is associated with that of the Quirinal, one of the seven hills on which Rome was built. Eventually, Quirinus was identified with Romulus, one of the legendary founders of Rome, and his festival on February 17 coincided with the date on which Romulus was believed to have been deified. This festival was also associated with the advent of spring warfare, when the shields and weapons of the army, which had been purified and retired for the winter, were brought out. More...
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