Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, February 11, 2014)
Word of the Day

luxuriant

Definition:(adjective) Produced or growing in extreme abundance.
Synonyms:lush, profuse, riotous, exuberant
Usage: The rivulet was hidden by the luxuriant vegetation of the banks save at one point, where I caught a triangular patch of its glittering water.
Article of the Day

Satanic Ritual Abuse

In the 1980s, allegations of physical and sexual abuse linked to occult or satanic rituals caused a panic in the US. These claims of satanic ritual abuse typically came from children in daycare centers, but nearly all instances were later discredited when the coercive methods used to generate testimony came to light. These included asking children leading questions and "uncovering" unconscious mental traumas in therapy. What were some of the outlandish claims children were pressured to make? More...
This Day in History

Anthracite Coal First Burned as Residential Heating Fuel (1808)

Anthracite is a compact variety of coal that was first burned as a residential heating fuel in the US by Judge Jesse Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It differs from wood in that it needs a draft from below. By burning it on an open grate in a fireplace, Fell proved that it could be a viable heating fuel. Fell's experiment took place 18 years after anthracite coal was said to have been discovered in Pennsylvania by hunter Necho Allen. According to legend, how did Allen "discover" anthracite? More...
Today's Birthday

Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839)

Gibbs was an American mathematical physicist whose contributions to physical chemistry and thermodynamics have had a profound effect on industry, notably in the production of ammonia. He formulated the concept of chemical potential, and, in mathematics, was influential in developing vector analysis. Gibbs also contributed to crystallography, the determination of planetary and cometary orbits, and electromagnetic theory. His doctorate was the first granted in the US for what field? More...
Quotation of the Day
I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

case of the dropsy

A fictitious "condition" characterized by continually dropping things from one's hands. It is a play on the term "dropsy," which was formerly used to denote the condition now known as edema (or oedema). More...
Today's Holiday

Japan National Foundation Day (2016)

The nationwide holiday known as Kenkoku Kinen-no-Hi commemorates the accession to the throne of Jimmu Tenno, Japan's first human emperor, in the year 660 BCE. He was believed to be a direct descendant of the gods and is credited with founding the Japanese empire. It is observed throughout Japan with fireworks and speeches on Japan's position in the world. One of the most elaborate celebrations takes place in Tokyo, where special rites are performed at the Imperial Sanctuary. The emperor and empress, the prime minister, and other high officials attend the ceremony. More...
In the News

Simulated Blindness Helps Heighten Hearing

Research suggests that eliminating visual stimuli for a period could counter hearing loss. After mice were kept in absolute darkness for a week, they were able to detect softer sounds than mice that were exposed to natural light for that same period. The week of darkness also caused changes to the structure of the brain's auditory cortex. These effects, though not permanent, lasted for several weeks after they were returned to a lighted environment. More...
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