Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, October 22, 2011)
Word of the Day

supernumerary

Definition:(adjective) More than is needed, desired, or required.
Synonyms:excess, extra, redundant, supererogatory, surplus, superfluous, spare
Usage: His appearance...is apt to occasion some little stir at the tea-table of a farmhouse, and the addition of a supernumerary dish of cakes or sweetmeats, or, peradventure, the parade of a silver teapot.
Article of the Day

Melungeon

"Melungeon" is a controversial term applied to a group of people who traditionally lived near the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia in the US and who have mixed Native American, white, and black ancestry. Though culturally and linguistically identical to their white neighbors and generally well-integrated, melungeons began being pejoratively identified as such in the period of heightened racial tensions leading up to the Civil War. What is known about the group’s history and origins? More...
This Day in History

The Scilly Naval Disaster (1707)

Celebrated English Admiral Cloudesley Shovell was returning from an abortive attack on Toulon, France, in 1707 when his ship and several others struck rocks off the Scilly Islands, southwest of England. In one of the greatest maritime disasters in British history, Shovell is believed to have drowned along with as many as 2,000 sailors. According to one of the many legends about the disaster, Shovell reached the shore alive, only to be murdered by a woman who stole what priceless object from him? More...
Today's Birthday

Doris Lessing (1919)

Lessing was a British writer and winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. Born in Iran, she moved with her family to a farm in what was Southern Rhodesia in 1924 and lived there until 1949, when she settled in England and began her writing career. Her work often addresses social and political themes, particularly the place of women in society. The Golden Notebook, her most widely read novel, is considered a feminist classic, although Lessing herself said what about feminists? More...
Quotation of the Day
The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

have (one's) hand out

To be in request, demand, or expectation of benefits, such as welfare, especially when undeserved or unneeded. More...
Today's Holiday

Hi Matsuri (2016)

Early on the evening of October 22, people light bonfires along the narrow street leading to the Kuramadera Shrine in Kurama, a village in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan. Fire is a purifying element according to Shinto, and the village is believed to be protected from accidents on this night. Soon after dusk, people light torches: even babies are allowed to carry tiny torches made out of twigs. Young men carry large torches—sometimes, it takes several men to keep them upright. As they walk through the streets, everyone chants rhythmically, "Sai-rei! Sai-ryo!" ("Festival, good festival!") More...
In the News

Fetal Hemoglobin May Be Key to Sickle Cell Cure

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin pigment in red blood cells is abnormal and causes the cells to assume distorted, sickle-like shapes. There is no cure for the disease, but researchers have found a way to get mice with sickle cell disease to produce normal red blood cells. One gene is used in the production of hemoglobin during fetal development, and a different gene is used after birth. By blocking the protein responsible for making the switch from fetal hemoglobin to adult hemoglobin, researchers were able to get mice with sickle cell disease to revert back to producing normal fetal hemoglobin. More...
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