Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 07, 2013)
Word of the Day

linchpin

Definition:(noun) A central cohesive source of support and stability.
Synonyms:backbone, keystone, mainstay, anchor
Usage: Reduced spending is the linchpin of their economic program.
Article of the Day

Braconidae

Humans fear wasps for their sting, but some insects, like caterpillars, have a different reason to be wary: they are little more than prey to the more than 50,000 species of parasitoid wasp in the family Braconidae. Most braconids kill their hosts with viruses that suppress the immune system and allow the wasp's eggs to grow inside a host undetected. These polydnaviruses are actually produced by the wasps using viral genes that were integrated into their DNA how many million years ago? More...
This Day in History

"The Blue Marble" Photograph Taken by Apollo 17 Crew (1972)

"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of Earth taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft while traveling toward the Moon in 1972. So-titled because the Earth resembles a blue marble—accented by swirls of white clouds—the image is among the most widely distributed photographs in history. Depicting a fully lit Earth, the snapshot was originally taken "upside-down," with Antarctica on top, but was rotated before distribution. How did NASA update the image in 2005? More...
Today's Birthday

Theodor Schwann (1810)

Schwann was a German physiologist who founded modern histology by recognizing the cell as the basic unit of animal structure. He also studied nerve structure, discovering the myelin sheath covering nerve cells, and formulated the basic principles of embryology. While investigating digestive processes, he isolated a substance responsible for digestion in the stomach, the first enzyme prepared from animal tissue, and named it pepsin. What other common scientific term was coined by Schwann? More...
Quotation of the Day
An aching head soon makes one forget an aching heart.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Today's Holiday

Armenia Earthquake Memorial Day (2015)

On December 7, 1988, a severe earthquake struck in Armenia, causing catastrophic damage to the entire country's infrastructure and virtually destroying the cities of Spitak, Leninakan (now Gyumri), Kirovakan (now Vanadzor), and Stepanavan. More than 25,000 people were killed in the disaster, with another 140,000 injured and more than one million left homeless, in a disaster zone that measured about 30,000 square kilometers. That day is now remembered each year as a national holiday, marked across the country with prayer, memorial services, and a moment of silence. More...
In the News

Microsoft Gives Technical Support a Whole New Meaning

Researchers at Microsoft have developed an unusual device to help women maintain their waistlines: a "smart" bra. The prototype has embedded sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to track the wearer's mood and could send an alert to a smartphone when they detect a risk of emotional eating. Microsoft claims it has no plans to market the weight-management device commercially. Rather, it says, the project was part of a greater effort to develop technologies that can detect and react appropriately to people's moods. More...
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