Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 15, 2012)
Word of the Day

ectothermic

Definition:(adjective) Of or relating to an organism that regulates its body temperature largely by exchanging heat with its surroundings; cold-blooded.
Synonyms:heterothermic, poikilothermic
Usage: Many scientists suggest that a warming climate would negatively impact ectothermic organisms, especially those living in high-heat environments.
Article of the Day

The Mie Pose

During particularly emotional moments in the performance of Japanese Kabuki theater, specifically the aragoto style of Kabuki, actors convey intensity and drama by freezing in any of a variety of powerful, distinctive poses and facial expressions. Each of these poses, called mie poses, has a name. Some of the poses are well known and are associated with particular characters in the theater. An actor is said to "cut" a mie when he performs it. What is the "heaven and earth" mie? More...
This Day in History

Clutter Family Murdered (1959)

In 1959, parolees Richard Hickock and Perry Smith murdered Herbert and Bonnie Clutter and their two children while attempting to rob their Kansas farmhouse. Writer Truman Capote spent the next five years researching the crime and interviewing those involved, including Hickock and Smith, who were hanged for the murders in 1965. Capote's In Cold Blood was published shortly thereafter and launched the nonfiction novel genre. What famous author traveled to Kansas with Capote? More...
Today's Birthday

Erwin Rommel (1891)

After nearly three decades in the German army, Rommel, who would become a famous WWII field marshal, was promoted by Hitler to the rank of general in 1939. The next year, he brilliantly commanded a panzer division in the attack on France. He then led the Afrika Korps against the Allies in N Africa, where he became known as the "Desert Fox" for his audacious surprise attacks. Allied success led Rommel to lose respect for Hitler and join a plot to remove the führer from office. How did Rommel die? More...
Quotation of the Day
A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Today's Holiday

La Quintaine (2015)

St. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, is honored each year in the French town of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat by a ceremony in which 30 men carry the quintaine, a three-foot-high box painted to resemble a prison, to the church to be blessed. Afterward, they mount it on a post and strike it with mallets as they gallop by on horseback. Fragments of the smashed quintaine are said to bring good luck and to make hens lay eggs. More...
In the News

Crocs' Spots Make for Sensitive Jaws

Quite a few hypotheses have been proposed to explain the purpose of the dome-shaped dots that adorn the jaws of alligators and crocodiles—that they are electrical or magnetic field receptors, pores for secreting fluid, or salinity detectors, to name a few—but researchers are casting all of those ideas aside in favor of a new theory. The bumps, they say, contain a complex network of nerve cells sensitive to touch, pressure, and vibration. More sensitive than human fingertips, the bumps likely improve the creatures' reaction times when hunting and afford them the ability to use their jaws for more controlled tasks, like extracting their young from their eggs. More...
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