Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, October 13, 2013)
Word of the Day

otiose

Definition:(adjective) Serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being.
Synonyms:superfluous, wasted, pointless, senseless
Usage: More than half of his acceptance speech was otiose nonsense, and the rest was just a rehash of his campaign promises.
Article of the Day

Raëlism

Raëlism is a cult religion founded in the 1970s by French journalist and race car driver Claude Vorilhon, now known as Raël. Raëlism teaches that life on Earth was created by a species of extraterrestrials called the Elohim. Raëlians discourage the use of recreational drugs, coffee, and alcohol, but have liberal views of sexuality, accepting homosexuality and encouraging members to explore their desires. They also support cloning and claimed in 2002 to have cloned a human named what? More...
This Day in History

Ankara Replaces Istanbul as Capital of Turkey (1923)

Ankara was an important commercial center for millennia, but in the late 19th century it experienced a decline. By the early 20th century, it was just a small town known primarily for its mohair production. After WWI, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made Ankara the seat of his provisional nationalist government. In 1923, it replaced Istanbul as Turkey's capital, partly to break with tradition and partly because of its central location. Who, according to Phrygian lore, founded the city in about 1000 BCE? More...
Today's Birthday

Lillie Langtry (1853)

Born on the Isle of Jersey, Emilie Charlotte Le Breton married diplomat Edward Langtry in 1874. A famous beauty, she caused a sensation when she became the first society woman to go on the stage, making her debut at the Haymarket theater in 1881 after her husband failed financially. "Jersey Lily," as she became known, played to enthusiastic audiences in England and the US and later remodeled and managed London's Imperial Theatre. With what future monarch was Langtry once romantically involved? More...
Quotation of the Day
You and I, dear reader, are each the center of the universe in our respective opinions. You, as I understand it, were brought into being by a considerate Providence in order that you might read and pay me for what I write; while I, in your opinion, am an article sent into the world to write something for you to read.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

have had (one's) chips

To be defeated; to fail completely; to die or be killed. A reference to chips (small plastic disks) used to make wagers when gambling. More...
Today's Holiday

National Fire Prevention Week (2016)

October 9 is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. Every year since 1925, the week in which October 9 falls has been observed nationwide as National Fire Prevention Week. Each year the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announces a theme for National Fire Prevention Week and sets up programs to educate the public about a particular aspect of fire prevention. For example, one past theme was the importance of keeping smoke detectors in good working order. More...
In the News

Elephants Get the Point of Human Gestures

A simple experiment involving an elephant, a gesturing scientist, two buckets, and a single treat has shown that the intelligent pachyderms appear to have an instinctive understanding of human pointing. The experiment involved placing the two buckets, only one of which contained a treat, in front of an elephant and then having the animal choose which bucket to reach for while a person pointed to the one containing the hidden snack. Researchers hoped to teach the elephants how to interpret the gesture and were surprised to find that the creatures seemed to understand it from the outset. The next step is to investigate whether elephants use gestures in their own communication. More...
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