Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, February 4, 2011)
Word of the Day

cavort

Definition:(verb) Play boisterously.
Synonyms:frisk, frolic, gambol, lark, rollick, romp, run around, skylark, sport, disport
Usage: The children cavorted in the water, splashing and ducking each other.
Article of the Day

Entropy

In popular, nontechnical use, entropy is regarded as a measure of the chaos or randomness of a system. In thermodynamics, it is the measure of a system's energy that is unavailable for work or of the degree of a system's disorder. Entropy increases during irreversible processes, such as the spontaneous mixing of hot and cold gases. The concept, first proposed in 1850 by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, is sometimes presented as the second law of thermodynamics, which states what? More...
This Day in History

Chávez Leads Coup d'État against Venezuelan President Pérez (1992)

In 1989, Venezuelan President Carlos Pérez returned to office amid demonstrations and riots sparked by deteriorating social conditions. Three years later, Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chávez led an unsuccessful coup against Pérez and was jailed as a result. Pérez escaped another coup attempt later that year, but in 1993 he was removed from office on corruption charges and later imprisoned on charges of embezzlement and misuse of public funds. When did Chávez become president? More...
Today's Birthday

Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (1917)

Yahya Khan was the president of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971. As president, he inherited a two-decade old constitutional problem of interethnic rivalry, complicated by economic grievances and the problem of transforming a virtual autocracy into a democracy. He declared martial law, but it failed to curb domestic unrest, and civil war between East and West Pakistan broke out. Pakistan's army was defeated, and Yahya Khan resigned after the establishment of what independent republic in 1971? More...
Quotation of the Day
Towns are excrescences, gray fluxions, where men, hurrying to find one another, have lost themselves.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

15 minutes of fame

A brief period of celebrity or notoriety. The term was coined by artist Andy Warhol. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Agatha Festival

Sant' Agata (St. Agatha) is especially revered in Catania, Sicily, where her relics are preserved in a silver casket. On February 3, 4, and 5 each year, a silver bust of St. Agatha wearing a jewel-encrusted crown is carried in procession from the cathedral to Catania's various churches. Included in the procession are the ceri, huge wooden replicas of candlesticks that are carved with episodes from the saint's martyrdom. The streets are lined with streamers and flowers, and illuminated by strings of colored lights after dark. The festival ends with a fireworks display in the piazza. More...
In the News

Dog Sniffs Out Colon Cancer

Researchers have trained a Labrador retriever to sniff out colon cancer in breath and stool samples. When presented with five stool samples, one cancerous and four non-cancerous, the dog was able to pick out the cancerous one 37 out of 38 times. She was just slightly less successful with the breath tests, finding 33 out of 36 cancers. It has been suggested in the past that dogs can detect certain types of cancers, and while it may not be practical to use dogs to diagnose patients, researchers are working on developing an "electronic dog's nose" that can detect the cancer-specific volatile organic compounds that dogs smell. More...
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