Word of the day  


Definition: adj. extravagantly and romantically chivalrous; regardless of material interests in comparison with honour or devotion.
Synonyms: romantic, wild-eyed
Etymology: Don Quixote, hero of Cervantes' romance f. Sp. quixote thigh armour (more...)

Quote of the day  

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
by William Faulkner

Birthday of the day  

John II of Portugal

John II (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈɐ̃w̃]; Portuguese: João II) (3 March 1455 – 25 October 1495), the Perfect Prince (Port. o Príncipe Perfeito), was the thirteenth king of Portugal and the Algarves. He is known for reestablishing the power of the Portuguese throne, reinvigorating its economy, and renewing its exploration of Africa and the Orient.

Joke of the day  

A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool on the aviation frequencies. So, this was his first time approaching a field during the nighttime. Instead of making any official requests to the tower, he said: 'Guess who?' The controller switched the field lights off and replied: 'Guess where?'

Thought of the day  

Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.

Fact of the day  

473 – Gundobad (nephew of Ricimer) nominates Glycerius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

Biography of the day  

Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 - June 30, 1974) was an American engineer and science administrator, known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb, and the idea of the memex?seen as a pioneering concept for the World Wide Web. A leading figure in the development of the military-industrial complex and the military funding of science in the United States, Bush was a prominent policymaker and public intellectual ('the patron saint of American science') during World War II and the ensuing Cold War. Through his public career, Bush was a proponent of democratic technocracy and of the centrality of technological innovation and entrepreneurship for both economic and geopolitical security. In the 1930s, he introduced the concept of the memex, a microfilm-based 'device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.'

Article of the day  

three-cent nickel

The three-cent nickel was designed by the US Mint's Chief Engraver James B. Longacre and struck by the mint from 1865 to 1889. When precious metal coinage was hoarded during the economic turmoil of the American Civil War, including the silver three-cent piece, and even the copper-nickel cent was commanding a premium, Congress issued paper money in denominations as small as three cents, but these small slips of paper became ragged and dirty. After the issue of a lighter bronze cent and a two-cent piece in 1864, there were proposals for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel. The advocates were led by Pennsylvania industrialist Joseph Wharton, who then controlled the domestic supply of nickel ore. On the last day of the congressional session, March 3, 1865, a bill for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel alloy was introduced in Congress, passed by both houses without debate, and was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Although initially popular, the three-cent nickel piece became less so with the introduction in 1866 of the five-cent nickel, a larger, more convenient coin, with a value better fitting the decimal system. After 1870, most years saw low annual mintages for the three-cent nickel, and in 1890 Congress abolished it.

Did you know

  • that Stanton windmill (pictured) has a wooden windshaft?
  • that some historians consider a 1619 strike by Polish craftsmen in the Jamestown Settlement to be the first strike in North American history?
  • that John Turner was the first person to be ordered deported from the United States for violation of the 1903 Anarchist Exclusion Act?
  • that in 1612 Jewish teacher Jacob Barnet was arrested and imprisoned by officials of the University of Oxford for changing his mind about being baptized?