Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 21, 2014)
Word of the Day

billet

Definition:(verb) Provide housing for (military personnel).
Synonyms:canton, quarter
Usage: The citizens who were forced to billet soldiers in their own private homes were understandably irritated by the imposition.
Article of the Day

The Siachen Glacier

Located 18,875 feet (5,753 m) above sea level in the Himalayan Mountains—between the boundary separating India and Pakistan—the Siachen Glacier is considered the world's highest battlefield. Since India launched a successful military operation there in 1984, thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops have populated the otherwise uninhabited area. However, more soldiers have died from the harsh weather conditions than from combat. What effects has the human presence had on the glacier? More...
This Day in History

Death of Last Native Speaker Leads to Extinction of Eyak Language (2008)

Eyak is an extinct language that was spoken in Alaska, near the mouth of the Copper River. Marie Smith Jones, the language's last native speaker, as well as the last full-blooded Eyak, died in 2008 at the age of 89. Before her death, she worked with experts to compile a dictionary that would allow future generations to revive the language. With no native speakers left in the world, Eyak became a symbol in the effort against language extinction. Which languages are the closest relatives to Eyak? More...
Today's Birthday

Karl Wallenda (1905)

Wallenda was a German-born US circus acrobat and founder and leader of the acrobatic troupe that came to be known as the Flying Wallendas. The group gained notoriety in Europe for its high-wire acts without a safety net before developing its most famous act—the seven-person pyramid, topped by Wallenda's wife, Helen. The troupe traveled with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and later performed as freelancers. Wallenda continued performing until age 73. How did he die? More...
Quotation of the Day
I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

800-pound gorilla

A person, group, or organization so powerful (either by size or by influence) that it does not need to heed the rules or threats of others. It refers to the riddle "Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?" (Answer: "Wherever it likes.") Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Barrow Day

This national public holiday honors Barbados' first prime minister. Errol Barrow was born in 1920, earned a law degree in England, then returned to Barbados, where he became finance minister in 1959 and prime minister in 1961. He was reelected in 1966 and, soon after, Barbados gained independence from Great Britain. Barrow was voted out in 1976 but regained office in 1986; he died the next year. More...
In the News

Google Developing Glucose Monitor for the Eyes

Diabetics' fingers may soon get a reprieve. Google is testing a prototype "smart contact lens" that can measure glucose levels in tears, thereby eliminating the need to repeatedly prick one's fingers to test blood-sugar levels. The lens is able to generate a reading every second, effectively providing constant monitoring. The developers are also considering embedding in the lenses tiny LEDs that would light up as an alert that the wearer's glucose has crossed a certain threshold. More...
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