Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 29, 2012)
Word of the Day

soporific

Definition:(adjective) Sleep inducing.
Synonyms:hypnagogic, somniferous
Usage: Even he is unable to withstand the soporific influence of the place, and is gradually falling asleep.
Article of the Day

The Year of the Elephant

In Islamic tradition, the Year of the Elephant is the year Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was born. Its name is derived from an event that is said to have occurred that year in Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace. Abraha, the Christian ruler of a neighboring principality, marched upon the Kaaba—what would become the most sacred site in Islam—with a large army. At the border of Mecca, Abraha's elephant is said to have sat down and refused to go any farther. Why did Abraha want to attack the Kaaba? More...
This Day in History

The Family Circus Cartoon Debuts (1960)

When The Family Circus debuted in 1960, the characters were about the same age as artist Bil Keane and his family. In the more than 50 years of cartoons that followed, the characters did not age appreciably, but their real-life counterparts did—Jeff Keane, the basis for 3-year-old Jeffy, went on to ink the cartoon for his father. The most widely syndicated cartoon panel in the world, it has appeared in 1,500 newspapers. What was the original name of the cartoon, and why did it change? More...
Today's Birthday

James "Jimmy" Dorsey (1904)

Dorsey was a prominent jazz musician and big band leader. He began performing as a youth, first learning the trumpet before taking up his signature instruments, the clarinet and alto saxophone. He formed several bands with his brother, and the duo became so popular that they later starred in a fictionalized film biography, The Fabulous Dorseys. After they parted ways in 1935, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra had several number-one hits. What was the name of his first post-split hit record? More...
Quotation of the Day
Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before—consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

In the News

Ötzi the Brown-Eyed Iceman's Many Health Woes

In the 20 years since the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman were discovered in the Alps, much has been learned about how he lived and how he died. Yet the 5,300-year-old murder victim still has more secrets to reveal. Earlier mitochondrial DNA analysis only revealed hints about his origins, but his genome has now been fully sequenced, and it shows that his ancestors probably migrated from the Middle East. The analysis also reveals that Ötzi likely had brown eyes and type O blood, that he was lactose intolerant and predisposed to heart disease, and that he had the first known case of Lyme disease. More...
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