Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 28, 2014)
Word of the Day

caterwaul

Definition:(verb) To cry or screech like a cat in heat.
Synonyms:yowl
Usage: Ever since the neighborhood strays chose my garden as the place to congregate and caterwaul, I have not had a sound night's sleep.
Article of the Day

The Atom

Though atoms are a fundamental building block of matter, scientific understanding of them is relatively recent. Ernest Rutherford developed the first coherent explanation of the atom's structure in 1911 and showed that it consists of a positively charged core—the nucleus—orbited by negatively charged particles—electrons. However, classical theory held that electrons are continuously being accelerated. By Rutherford's theory, then, electrons would spiral into the nucleus. Who solved this issue? More...
This Day in History

Horace Walpole Coins the Word "Serendipity" (1754)

Defined as the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident, the word "serendipity" was first coined in 1754 by English author Horace Walpole in one of his more than 3,000 letters. In it, he explains that the root of his new word is taken from "The Three Princes of Serendip," a Persian fairytale about princes who "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of." Who was the recipient of Walpole's letter introducing "serendipity"? More...
Today's Birthday

Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz (1890)

Stroud was a convicted murderer serving time in prison when he came across some injured sparrows in the Leavenworth prison yard. He kept the birds and soon began raising canaries, which he could sell for supplies and to help support his mother. Using equipment furnished by a new warden, Stroud created an aviary and became an expert in avian pathology, writing two books on the subject and developing a cure for hemorrhagic septicemia. How much of his sentence was spent in solitary confinement? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

Idiom of the Day

cat's pajamas

Something or someone highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive, especially in a fancy or elaborate way. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. More...
Today's Holiday

NASA Day of Remembrance (2016)

NASA established the Day of Remembrance to honor those who have died in America's space program. The day focuses on those who died in three NASA space tragedies: the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967; the Shuttle Challenger disaster of January 28, 1986; and the Shuttle Columbia tragedy of February 1, 2003. The day also remembers NASA employees who died in training and maintenance accidents. NASA observes the day with a roll call of all those who have died; at Cape Canaveral in Florida, a moment of silence is observed at noon. More...
In the News

Papal Blood Purloined

Is nothing sacred? To thieves in Abruzzo, Italy, apparently so. Over the weekend, they broke into a church in the remote village east of Rome and made off with a gold reliquary containing the blood of the late Pope John Paul II and a crucifix. The motive for the theft is not yet known, but it could be financial; the former pope is set to be sainted in May, after which, the value of the stolen relic will increase. More...
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