Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 17, 2012)
Word of the Day

lampblack

Definition:(noun) A black colloidal substance consisting wholly or principally of amorphous carbon and used to make pigments and ink.
Synonyms:crock, smut, soot
Usage: Our pilgrims would have liked very well to get out their lampblack and stencil-plates and paint their names on that rock.
Article of the Day

Umm Kulthum

Known as the "Star of the East," Kulthum was one of the Arab world's most famous singers in the 20th century. For decades, her live concerts were broadcast from Cairo on the first Thursday of each month, and while she sang, the Arab world was said to stand still. Her concerts could last several hours and were described as enchanting, highly emotional, and fueled by interaction with the audience. Her funeral was one of the largest gatherings in Egyptian history. How many people were there? More...
This Day in History

Synthesis of Californium Announced (1950)

The sixth transuranium element to be synthesized, californium is an artificially produced, radioactive metallic chemical element. A member of the actinide series of elements, it has isotopes with half-lives ranging from about 40 seconds to 900 years. One isotope, californium-252, is used as a neutron source in nuclear reactors. Which four scientists first produced californium in a cyclotron at the University of California at Berkeley? More...
Today's Birthday

John Wayne Gacy (1942)

Gacy was an American serial killer who was convicted and later executed for murdering 33 boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Gacy buried dozens of his victims in a crawl space under the floor of his house and threw several others in a nearby river. Known as the "Killer Clown," he often performed as a clown at local parties and even had drinks at a local bar while in costume on a few occasions. Gacy took up painting while on death row. What motif appeared in many of his art works? More...
Quotation of the Day
Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.

John Milton (1608-1674)

Idiom of the Day

cloud the issue

To obfuscate or distract from the topic at hand by introducing irrelevant and/or misleading information. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Patrick's Day Parade (Savannah, Georgia)

This parade is one of the oldest and biggest parades in the US, held since 1824 in Savannah, Georgia, a city with a long Irish history. The first public procession was recorded in 1824, and public parades have been held ever since. Today, the parade, which follows a route through the city's historic district, comprises between 200 and 300 separate units, including family groups, commercial floats, high school bands, and military bands and marching units. The day begins with Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. More...
In the News

Colossal Squid's Colossal Eyes Help It Spot Sperm Whales

Scientists think they know why giant and colossal squid have eyes the size of basketballs—to help them spot the sperm whales that prey upon them. Researchers were at first puzzled because the huge eyes, which can measure 11 in (27 cm) across, seem to offer little advantage in the dark depths of the ocean and because no other known species has eyes even close to this size. However, it turns out that the eyes are better able to spot the glow of bioluminescent life forms at a distance. When a sperm whale swims, it disturbs these organisms, creating a glowing trail that could warn squid of the predator's approach. More...
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