Word of the day  


Definition: n. a social outcast.
Synonyms: outcast, castaway, Ishmael
Etymology: Tamil paraiyar pl. of paraiyan hereditary drummer f. parai drum (more...)

Quote of the day  

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
by Anatole France

Birthday of the day  

John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster

John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, KG (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called 'John of Gaunt' because he was born in Ghent (in modern Belgium), Gaunt in English.

Joke of the day  

Do you believe in life after death?' the boss asked one of his employees. 'Yes, sir,' the clerk replied. 'That's good,' the boss said. 'After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in to see you.'

Thought of the day  

The future starts today, not tomorrow.

Fact of the day  

12 BC – The Roman Emperor Augustus is named Pontifex Maximus, incorporating the position into that of the Emperor.

Biography of the day  

Paul Otlet

Paul Otlet (b. August 23, 1868, Belgium - December 10, 1944) was the founding father of documentation, the field of study now more commonly referred to as information science. He created the Universal Decimal Classification, one of the most prominent examples of faceted classification. Otlet was responsible for the widespread adoption in Europe of the standard American 3x5 inch index card used until recently in most library catalogs around the world, though largely displaced by the advent of online public access catalogs (OPAC). Otlet wrote numerous essays on how to collect and organize the world?s knowledge, culminating in two books, the Trait? de documentation (1934) and Monde: Essai d'universalisme (1935). Otlet, along with his friend and colleague Henri La Fontaine, who won the Nobel Prize in 1913, founded the now-bankrupt Institute International de Bibliography in 1895 which later became in English the International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID). In 1910, following a huge international conference, they created the Union of International Associations, which is still located in Brussels. They also created a great international center called at first Palais Mondial (World Palace), later, the Mundaneum to house the collections and activities of their various organizations and institutes.

Article of the day  

1850 Atlantic hurricane season

In the 1850 Atlantic hurricane season, three significant tropical cyclones affected land. Records of other storms are incomplete, since the Atlantic hurricane database goes back only to 1851. The first system struck North Carolina in July, causing significant damage before battering the Mid-Atlantic states. Rivers were flooded from Baltimore to northern New England, and 20 people were killed along the Schuylkill River. In August, a strong hurricane hit Havana, Cuba, before making landfall on the Florida Panhandle with an enormous storm surge. Coastal flooding was severe around Apalachicola. Abundant precipitation fell from Georgia through Virginia; one river swelled more than 20 feet (6 m) above its normal height. The storm toppled a railroad bridge near Halifax, North Carolina. Offshore, a pilot boat collided with a larger ship in the rough seas and sank. Considered the worst storm in nearly 30 years in the tidewater region of Virginia, the cyclone briefly reentered the Atlantic off New Jersey before making landfall over New England, with strong winds and moderate to heavy rains. In September, a hurricane brushed the coastline from New York to Cape Cod with gusty winds and appreciable rainfall, and later struck Atlantic Canada.

Did you know

  • that the Italian battleship Caio Duilio was one of the longest-lived World War I dreadnoughts?
  • that for his 2004 film Drum, director Zola Maseko received the top prize at FESPACO, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, in addition to a cash prize of 10 million CFA francs (US$20,000)?
  • that the North Umpqua kalmiopsis (pictured) was, for over 50 years, thought to be a form of the floral species Kalmiopsis leachiana?
  • that seven Cornish fishermen sailed to Australia in the lugger Mystery in 1854-55, a journey which is being recreated today by the Spirit of Mystery?