Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, February 27, 2014)
Word of the Day

elapse

Definition:(verb) Pass by.
Synonyms:glide by, go by, slide by, slip by, slip away, go along
Usage: A month has elapsed since our last meeting, so let us begin by reviewing the minutes from that session.
Article of the Day

Messier Objects

In 1784, French astronomer Charles Messier compiled a list of non-stellar celestial objects. He had no understanding of what these items—now known to be galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters—actually were; he just wanted to further the search for comets by listing the indistinct objects that might be mistaken for them. Designations from his catalog are still used to refer to some nebulae and star clusters—for instance, M1 is the Crab Nebula and M45 is the Pleiades. What is a "Messier Marathon"? More...
This Day in History

The Reichstag Fire (1933)

The 1933 fire at the German Parliament building known as the Reichstag was a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. Allegedly set by a Dutch communist, the fire was used by Adolf Hitler to turn public opinion against his opponents, especially the communists. Immediately after the fire, he enacted a decree suspending constitutional protection of personal rights, effectively establishing the Nazi Party dictatorship. Why do some believe the fire was set by the Nazis themselves? More...
Today's Birthday

Hugo LaFayette Black (1886)

Black was a US Supreme Court Justice for 34 years. A prominent supporter of the New Deal, he was also in the majority that struck down mandatory school prayer and guaranteed the availability of legal counsel to suspected criminals. He was known for an absolutist belief in the Bill of Rights, and his last major opinion supported the right of The New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed improper government conduct. To what secret society did Black once belong? More...
Quotation of the Day
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

Idiom of the Day

rarer than hens' teeth

Incredibly scarce or rare; extremely difficult or impossible to find. More...
Today's Holiday

Shrove Monday (2017)

Many countries celebrate Shrove Monday as well as Shrove Tuesday, both days marking a time of preparation for Lent. It is often a day for eating pastry, as the butter and eggs in the house must all be used up before Lent. In Greece it is known as Clean Monday and is observed by holding picnics at which Lenten foods are served. In Iceland, the Monday before Lent is known as Bun Day. The significance of the name is twofold: it is a day for striking people on the buttocks with a stick before they get out of bed as well as a day for eating sweet buns with whipped cream. More...
In the News

Honeybee Pathogens Killing Bumblebees Too

The plight of honeybees, which have been dying out en masse for reasons that have yet to be fully understood, has dominated bee news of late; however, bumblebee populations around the globe have also been in steep decline. For decades, experts have attributed this largely to habitat loss, but researchers have now identified two previously unknown threats to bumblebee survival—deformed wing virus and a fungal parasite called Nosema ceranae. These two pathogens had been known to affect honeybees, but they have now been observed in wild bumblebees as well. More...
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