Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 26, 2011)
Word of the Day

nickel-and-dime

Definition:(adjective) Of minor importance.
Synonyms:small-time
Usage: He ran his nickel-and-dime operation out of the back of a pickup truck and dreamed of the day when he would own his own storefront.
Article of the Day

Memento Mori

In an iconic scene from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the titular prince contemplates the skull of the former court jester Yorick, juxtaposing his jocular existence and his death. The skull is an example of a memento mori—an object intended to remind people of the inevitability of death. Derived from a Latin phrase meaning "be mindful of dying," the term has a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity. What famous paintings feature a memento mori? More...
This Day in History

First Kwanzaa Celebrated (1966)

Observed from December 26 to January 1 and patterned after African harvest festivals, Kwanzaa is a secular festival celebrating the African heritage of African Americans. Developed by black-studies professor Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa emphasizes the role of the family and community in African-American culture. Each day is dedicated to a particular principle—such as unity, creativity, or faith. The holiday's name is taken from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanzaa, which means what? More...
Today's Birthday

Charles Babbage (1791)

Babbage was an English mathematician and inventor who devoted most of his life and private fortune to trying to perfect a mechanical calculating machine. In 1837, he described the so-called Analytical Engine, a machine capable of performing arithmetical operations with the use of instructions from punched cards. Although the device was never built, his idea is considered the forerunner of modern computers. Babbage also invented other devices, including the cowcatcher, which is used to do what? More...
Quotation of the Day
All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Today's Holiday

Fiesta Grande (2015)

Around Christmas time, thousands of Chilean pilgrims gather to honor the Virgen del Rosario (Virgin of the Rosary), patron saint of miners. The ceremonies take place in the copper-mining town of Andacollo, situated in the Andes mountains. The centerpiece of the festival is a famous three-foot wooden statue of the Virgin that is housed in Andacollo's basilica. The festival's main proceedings take place on December 26, during which a religious dance is performed in indigenous costume. Nearby, cockfighting and horseracing attract participants as alternative secular activities. More...
In the News

Scientists Asked to Censor Bird Flu Studies

Concerned that details of recent research studies on a lab-made, highly transmissible version of bird flu could be used by terrorists to manufacture biological weapons, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked two scientific journals not to publish key details that would enable replication of the experiments. In the experiments, scientists created strains of the H5N1 avian influenza that could spread easily between ferrets, which are considered a good model for predicting what flu viruses will do in people. The request has sparked debate about whether scientific information should be censored when safety is a concern. More...
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