Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, February 08, 2012)
Word of the Day

contagion

Definition:(noun) The communication of an attitude or emotional state among a number of people.
Synonyms:infection
Usage: Arobin caught the contagion of excitement which drew him to Edna like a magnet.
Article of the Day

Messinian Salinity Crisis

About 5.6 million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea was cut off from the Atlantic Ocean, likely due to tectonic shifts that closed the Strait of Gibraltar. For thousands of years afterward, the Mediterranean evaporated away, becoming saltier and leaving massive deposits of salt and minerals on the sea bed until the sea had disappeared. The straight was reopened and the sea refilled during a massive flood 500,000 years later. Today, the sea is still saltier than the Atlantic Ocean. Why? More...
This Day in History

NASDAQ Stock Market Begins Trading (1971)

When the NASDAQ stock exchange began trading in 1971, it was the world's first electronic stock market. Founded in New York by the National Association of Securities Dealers, NASDAQ initially existed as computer bulletin board system that did not yet connect buyers and sellers. Today, it lists more companies and has more trading volume than any other US electronic stock exchange. In 2007, NASDAQ acquired the oldest stock exchange in America for $652 million. Which exchange did NASDAQ buy? More...
Today's Birthday

Jules Gabriel Verne (1828)

Verne was a French novelist credited with originating the modern genre of science fiction. Early on, he was interested in theater and wrote librettos for operas. Later, he drew upon his knowledge of science and geography to write romances of extraordinary journeys, which quickly became very popular. He wrote more than 50 books in his lifetime, including A Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days. One of his books explores a five-week journey by what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Reason itself is true and just, but the reason of every particular man is weak and wavering, perpetually swayed and turned by his interests, his passions, and his vices.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

hurler on the ditch

A person who offers unsolicited criticism or advice about something in which he or she is not an active participant. Taken from the sport of hurling, a player of which is a hurler. Primarily heard in Ireland. More...
Today's Holiday

Yaya Matsuri (2017)

The Yaya Matsuri, held in Owase, Japan, during the first five days in February, features mikoshi (portable shrines) carried through the streets by groups of young men who meet and deliberately crash into each other. The festival takes its name from their shouts—"Yaya! Yaya!"—as they run into one another. Several special events, including dances, are held during the five-day festival. On the last night, there is a ceremony at the Owase Shrine to determine who will participate in the festival the next year. More...
In the News

Skydiver Preparing for Record Jump from Stratosphere

Later this year, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break the record for highest skydive in history by jumping from 120,000 ft (36.5 km). A helium balloon will lift him in a pressurized capsule to the desired altitude, and a special suit that maintains the proper air pressure, provides him with oxygen, and keeps him warm will protect him from the elements once he exits the capsule. During his nearly 23-mile descent, Baumgartner is expected to break the sound barrier. The current record of 102,800 ft (31 km) was set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger, one of Baumgartner's advisors on the project. More...
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