Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, February 14, 2011)
Word of the Day

snigger

Definition:(verb) Laugh quietly.
Synonyms:snicker
Usage: The rude tourists snigger at the locals' outdated ways and dress.
Article of the Day

It's Raining Cats and Dogs!

Although it is a rare phenomenon, the occurrence of animals "raining" from the sky has been reported many times throughout history. One hypothesis often proposed to explain this phenomenon is that strong winds traveling over bodies of water sometimes pick up aquatic animals, such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles, finally depositing them on land. However, this phenomenon has never been witnessed or scientifically tested. What are some other possible explanations? More...
This Day in History

ENIAC, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, Unveiled (1946)

ENIAC was an early electronic digital computer built in the US by engineers J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly. The massive ENIAC weighed 30 tons, filled an entire room, and used some 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, and 10,000 capacitors. After its official unveiling in 1946, it was used to prepare artillery-shell trajectory tables and perform other military and scientific calculations. When ENIAC solved its first test problem, it made calculations for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Jack Benny (1894)

Benny made his vaudeville debut playing the violin in 1912. After discovering a talent for comedy while in the navy, he returned to vaudeville as a comedian. He made his film debut in 1927 and appeared in 18 films between 1930 and 1945. His weekly radio show—1932 to 1955—and TV show—1950 to 1965—won loyal audiences, and he became famous for a unique comic style characterized by subtle verbal inflection, meaningful pauses, and the stage image of a vain, stingy man. What was Benny's real name? More...
Quotation of the Day
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

cushy job

A job that is easy, stress free, and/or very well paid. More...
Today's Holiday

Valentine's Day (2016)

How St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers remains a mystery, but one theory is that the Church used the day in an attempt to Christianize the old Roman Lupercalia, a pagan festival that entailed putting girls' names in a box and letting the boys draw them out. The Church substituted saints' names for girls' names, but, by the 16th century, it was once again girls' names that ended up in the box. Eventually, the custom of sending anonymous cards or messages to those one admired became the accepted way of celebrating St. Valentine's Day. More...
In the News

"Lucy" Likely Walked Upright

New fossil evidence found in Hadar, Ethiopia, seems to confirm that Australopithecus afarensis—the early human ancestor made famous by the "Lucy" skeleton—did indeed walk upright. The evidence, a 3.2 million-year-old metatarsal bone, indicates that the foot of A. afarensis had a well-defined arch. While apes have flexible feet suited for climbing, arched feet like those of A. afarensis and modern humans are stiff, and this helps them propel the body forward more efficiently and absorb the shock of body mass coming down on just two legs instead of four. More...
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