Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, April 11, 2011)
Word of the Day

irradiate

Definition:(verb) Expose to radiation.
Synonyms:ray
Usage: The government regulators insist that we irradiate farm produce so as to destroy bacteria.
Article of the Day

The Farewell Dossier

The Farewell Dossier was the name given to the collection of documents that KGB defector Colonel Vladimir Vetrov—code-named "Farewell"—gathered and gave to French intelligence officials during the Cold War. An engineer, Vetrov had been assigned to evaluate information on Western hardware and software gathered by spies. Disillusioned with the Communist system, Vetrov passed along nearly 4,000 secret documents between 1981 and 1982, including a complete list of what? More...
This Day in History

Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak (1965)

During the Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1965, as many as 78 tornados—47 of which were confirmed—hit the midwestern US over the course of 11 hours. Affecting Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, the outbreak resulted in 271 deaths, thousands of injuries, and widespread damage. In Indiana alone, it killed 137 people and injured more than 1,200, becoming the deadliest tornado outbreak in the state's history. This outbreak led to the clarification of what terms used in weather forecasts? More...
Today's Birthday

Septimius Severus (145 CE)

Severus became emperor of Rome in 193 CE, also known as the "Year of the Five Emperors." In the months before he ascended the throne, two emperors were assassinated and a third—Didius Julianus—earned the position by buying it from the Praetorian Guard. With the empire in disarray, Severus marched on Rome, ousted Julianus, and was proclaimed emperor. He then built himself a strong army that would protect both him and his empire. It is said that he gave what advice to his sons before his death? More...
Quotation of the Day
Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

cut from whole cloth

Completely fictional or utterly false; totally made up. A reference to tailors who would falsely advertise garments being "cut out of whole cloth," when in reality, they were pieced together from different cuts. More...
Today's Holiday

Santamar'a Day (2016)

In Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría is remembered as a national hero, for his role in the makeshift militia that opposed American imperialist William Walker. On April 11, 1856, Santamaría either set fire to Walker's fort or his ammunitions store. Although Santamaría was killed in the process, Walker's forces were eventually repelled. Juan Santamaría Day is actually a week-long festival of parades, concerts, dancing, and marching bands throughout the country. The official holiday is usually on April 11, the anniversary of Santamaría's death. More...
In the News

Brain Basis for Food Addiction

For some, seeing a milkshake activates the same areas of the brain that are excited when an addict sees cocaine. Researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe volunteers' brain activity found that seeing a chocolate milkshake triggered activity in areas that have been implicated in a drug addict's cravings. Furthermore, this activity was higher in women with addictive eating habits. However, once the study participants actually tasted the drinks, those who scored high on a food-addiction scale showed much less "reward" activity than those who did not—a phenomenon also seen in substance abusers. More...
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