Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 11, 2015)
Word of the Day

atrophy

Definition:(verb) To waste away; wither or deteriorate.
Synonyms:shrivel, weaken
Usage: She had not painted in many years, and she was worried that her creativity had atrophied.
Article of the Day

Cotton Candy

This kid-pleasing treat is often sold at fairs, circus shows, and other jovial events. It is usually tinted pink, though purple and blue are also popular colors. It is made by machines with a central bowl where sugar is melted and spun out through a myriad of tiny holes where it solidifies and is caught by a ring. The operator then catches the candy on a stick, forming a confection that is often larger than the human head. In what country is cotton candy known as "fairy floss"? More...
This Day in History

The Great Blizzard of '88 Begins (1888)

The Great Blizzard of '88 was one of the most severe blizzards in US history. Snowfalls of 40 to 50 in (102 to 127 cm) fell in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and snowdrifts exceeded 50 ft (15 m) in some places. Railroads were shut down, and people were confined to their houses for up to a week. More than 400 people died from the storm and the ensuing cold, including 200 in New York City alone. What infrastructure changes were made in the aftermath of the storm? More...
Today's Birthday

Marius Ivanovich Petipa (1822)

The principal creator of the modern classical ballet, Petipa was a French-born Russian dancer and choreographer. He received early training from his ballet-master father and was a dancer in France, Belgium, and Spain before joining the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg, where he created several ballets and became chief choreographer in 1869. By his retirement in 1903, he had produced more than 60 ballets for the imperial theatres in St. Petersburg and Moscow, including what performances? More...
Quotation of the Day
My only objection to the custom of giving books as Christmas presents is perhaps the selfish one that it encourages and keeps in the game a number of writers who would be far better employed if they abandoned the pen and took to work.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Idiom of the Day

bored to tears

Extremely bored to the point of distraction, frustration, or irritation. More...
Today's Holiday

King's Birthday (Denmark)

Though no longer observed, the birthday of Frederick IX of Denmark (1899-1972) was a national holiday in that country, marked by patriotic speeches and parades. Soldiers in uniform would march down the main street of Copenhagen, the capital, accompanied by military bands. This was also an occasion for singing Denmark's two national anthems, "Kong Kristian Stod Ved Hojen Mast" ("King Kristian Stood Beside the Lofty Mast") and "Der Er Et Yndigt Land" ("This Is a Lovely Land"). Frederick IX became king of Denmark in 1947 and ruled until his death in 1972. More...
In the News

The Secret to How Chameleons Change Colors

If a chameleon's striking ability to change colors seems like a magic act of smoke and mirrors, that's because its skin is quite literally made up of special mirrors, scientists have discovered. The panther chameleon has tiny crystals under its skin called ... More...
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