Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 18, 2011)
Word of the Day

waffle

Definition:(verb) Pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness.
Synonyms:hesitate, waver
Usage: The mayoral candidate waffled on his position regarding abortion and gay rights.
Article of the Day

Bird Banding

Bird banding is the practice of attaching small, individually numbered tags to the legs or wings of wild birds so that they may be identified and studied in the future. Information gleaned from banding includes data about migration, longevity, mortality, population, territoriality, and other aspects of avian life. The practice of marking birds dates back to the 3rd century BCE, but doing so for scientific purposes only began in 1899. What surprising facts have been learned through banding? More...
This Day in History

UK Recognizes British Sign Language as Official Language (2003)

Making use of space and involving movement of the hands, body, face, and head, British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of deaf people in the UK and those who communicate with them, such as relatives and interpreters. BSL has regional and local dialects, and some signs go in and out of fashion or evolve over time, just like spoken words. Although English is the predominant spoken language in both the UK and US, BSL differs from American Sign Language in what ways? More...
Today's Birthday

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll (1848)

In 1840, Queen Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and the two had nine children, whose marriages, and those of their grandchildren, in turn, allied the British royal house with those of Russia, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Romania, and others. Their sixth child, Princess Louise, is regarded by biographers as the couple's most beautiful daughter. In 1871, Louise married the Marquess of Lorne and became the Duchess of Argyll. Why was the marriage controversial? More...
Quotation of the Day
I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

clout list

A secret list of people who, through advantageous connections and relationships with people of affluence, authority, or political influence, are given preferential consideration during an admissions or appointments process. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Joseph's Eve

In Valencia, Spain, the feast of the foster-father of Jesus is a week-long festival called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). On St. Joseph's Eve, March 18, fallas—huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities—parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with the spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire. The festival is said to reflect the happy and satirical nature of the Valencians. More...
In the News

Secondhand Smoke Harms Fetal Development

Smoking during pregnancy is widely known to increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and a range of serious birth defects, but the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy receive less attention, despite the fact that it increases the risk of many of these complications as well. Researchers found that exposure to smoke at work or home increased the risk of stillbirth by 23% and of having a baby with congenital defects by 13%. Thus, it is important that expectant fathers who smoke either quit or only partake of cigarettes away from their pregnant partners. More...
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