Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, February 15, 2014)
Word of the Day

urbane

Definition:(adjective) Showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience.
Synonyms:svelte, polished, refined
Usage: In his mind, he was suave and urbane, but in real life, he was just the opposite.
Article of the Day

Melanism

Melanism is the dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers due to a high concentration of the pigment melanin. A classic example is the panther—which is actually a black leopard. However, melanism has several variations. Pseudo-melanism occurs when dark markings cover a large part of an animal's body, while industrial melanism results in dark varieties of animals that need camouflage in smoke-blackened industrial regions. What insect is commonly associated with industrial melanism? More...
This Day in History

USS Maine Sinks, Prompting the US to Declare War on Spain (1898)

In January 1898, the USS Maine was sent to protect American interests in Cuba, where an anti-Spanish insurrection was taking place. It sank weeks later, after an onboard explosion. Fueled by the conspiracy theories of American yellow journalism, outrage over the deaths of 260 of the ship's crew members helped push the nation toward the Spanish-American War. Several investigations into the sinking have since taken place, including one that was conducted in 1998. What were its findings? More...
Today's Birthday

Jeremy Bentham (1748)

Bentham was a British moral philosopher and legal theorist. A precocious student, he graduated from Oxford at age 15. In his writings, he became the earliest expounder of utilitarianism—the theory that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its usefulness in bringing about the greatest happiness for all those affected by it. His work inspired much reform legislation, especially regarding prisons. What was done with Bentham's body after his death, in accordance with his will? More...
Quotation of the Day
In time we hate that which we often fear.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Idiom of the Day

a cut above the rest

Better in quality than most others. More...
Today's Holiday

Susan B. Anthony Day

Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) devoted her life to the temperance, anti-slavery, and women's suffrage movements. After the Civil War, she focused all of her energies on getting women the right to vote, which was achieved in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Tributes to Anthony take place on her birthday, February 15, in various parts of the country, and ceremonies honoring Anthony are often held at her grave in Rochester, New York. More...
In the News

Forecasting from One's Bones

Anecdotal evidence points to a link between weather conditions and body aches; however, the medical community has yet to reach a consensus on the issue since studies have yielded mixed results. Data from one recent study suggest that increased humidity and barometric pressure exacerbate joint pain and stiffness. For every 10% increase in humidity, osteoarthritis sufferers experienced a 1-point increase in pain on the Western Ontario and McMasters University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Similarly, for every 10-hectopascal increase in barometric pressure, WOMAC function scores worsened by a point. These effects are considered only moderate and not clinically significant. More...
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