Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 26, 2012)
Word of the Day

teetotal

Definition:(adjective) Practicing complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
Synonyms:dry
Usage: I happen to be teetotal, so I will forgo the wine being served with dinner.
Article of the Day

Reduviidae, AKA Assassin Bugs

Thousands of species of the aptly named assassin bug crawl the Earth. Most prey on other insects, using a segmented beak to suck out victims' body fluids, and some species even kill bedbugs and roaches. Still, not all are beneficial. There are species that drink blood and prey on vertebrates, and one is even known to bite the eyes of sleeping humans. Another defends itself by spitting toxic saliva that causes blindness. Some produce pain-inducing venom, and others carry what often-fatal disease? 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
I believe that Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

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

Daylight Savings Switch Linked to Heart Attack Uptick

Previous research has suggested that sleep disruptions resulting from the switch to daylight saving time and return to standard time could be responsible for fluctuations in heart attack rates that occur around that time. A 2008 Swedish study found that the incidence of heart attacks is elevated in the first three weekdays following the switch to daylight saving time and is decreased on the Monday following the return to standard time. However, a new US study only shows an increased heart attack rate on the day directly following the time change, a Sunday. Still, the findings seem to support the idea that sleep loss linked to clock changes affects heart attack risk. More...
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