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

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 Crashes in the Andes (1972)

While carrying a Uruguayan rugby team to a match in Chile, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed high in the Andes. Many passengers died in the crash or shortly after; several more were killed in an avalanche. Stranded in the remote mountainous border between Argentina and Chile, the survivors were forced to eat the dead to avoid starvation. Knowing that the search effort had been called off, two of the remaining 16 eventually hiked out and found help. How long was it before they were rescued? More...
Today's Birthday

Paul Simon (1941)

Simon is an American singer and songwriter who first gained fame as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. Simon first met Art Garfunkel in sixth grade at their public school in Queens, New York. The two began performing together in the 1950s, using the name Tom and Jerry. After a break, they reunited in 1964 as Simon and Garfunkel but split again in 1970, not long after their highly successful album Bridge over Troubled Water was released. What albums did Simon record as a solo artist? 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)

Today's Holiday

Cranberry Day Festival (2015)

Wampanoag Indians on Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, celebrate Cranberry Day, their most significant annual holiday, on the second Tuesday in October. In earlier times, this festival lasted several days as people harvested the cranberries and used them in festive dishes. These days, children get the day off from school to join the day's activities, which include picking cranberries, a lunchtime bonfire during which stories of previous Cranberry Days and other community legends are told, and a celebration in the evening with dancing, singing, and a huge potluck meal. 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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