Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, February 05, 2012)
Word of the Day

hoarfrost

Definition:(noun) Frozen dew that forms a white coating on a surface.
Synonyms:rime
Usage: In the morning, one will arise as fresh as a lark and look at the window, and see the fields overlaid with hoarfrost, and fine icicles hanging from the naked branches.
Article of the Day

The Brain Mushroom

Despite its recognized toxicity, the false morel mushroom Gyromitra esculenta is a popular delicacy in Europe, especially in Scandinavia. Also called a "brain mushroom" because it looks like a dark red brain, it can be deadly if it is not carefully and thoroughly cooked or dried. Some experts advise boiling and rinsing it twice to draw out the toxin, but even this process can be dangerous, as the toxin can build up in the air when boiled. Why do some deny that the mushroom is poisonous? More...
This Day in History

Royal Greenwich Observatory Begins Broadcasting Hourly Time Signals (1924)

The Greenwich Time Signal, popularly known as "the pips," is a series of six short tones broadcast by many BBC radio stations at the end of each hour to mark the precise start of the following hour. Devised by Astronomer Royal Frank Dyson in 1924, the signal consists of six pips that occur on the five seconds leading up to the hour, with the beginning of the sixth pip marking the actual moment when the hour changes. After nearly 90 years of marking time, why might the pips soon be silenced? More...
Today's Birthday

Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840)

Mechanically gifted, Maxim learned several trades as a young man. He obtained his first patent, for a hair-curling iron, in 1866. By 1884, working in London, he had produced a devastatingly effective automatic machine gun capable of firing 660 rounds per minute. Every major power adopted the Maxim gun. The company he established to manufacture his invention, with several mergers, eventually became the British defense firm, Vickers Ltd. What were some of Maxim's "flying machines"? More...
Quotation of the Day
We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

23 skidoo

To clear out or get away in haste before getting into or causing trouble, referring either to oneself or to another. "23" may refer to the Flatirons Building in New York City (located on 23rd Street), around which great winds tend to blow. It may also derive from an older use meaning to tell someone to clear out of one's way. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

San Marino Liberation Day

In 1739, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni invaded the Republic of San Marino and occupied the country. The people of San Marino protested the occupation and appealed to the Vatican; the Pope recognized the rights of San Marino and, on February 5, 1740, he restored the country's independence. Today, San Marino celebrates Liberation Day on February 5 to mark the anniversary of their independence. As part of the celebration, there is a public procession from the city of Borgo Maggiore to the capital city of San Marino proper. In addition, various civic celebrations take place throughout the day. More...
In the News

Nature and Nurture Both Active in Addictions

Brain scans of pairs of siblings, only one of whom is a cocaine addict, show that both have brain abnormalities that make it difficult for them to exercise self-control. The findings show that these brain abnormalities are not caused by drug use and help explain why some people are more likely to develop an addiction to drugs than others. Still, researchers do not yet understand why it is that some with this brain abnormality are able to overcome their predisposition to abuse drugs and others are not. More...
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