Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, April 16, 2011)
Word of the Day

copycat

Definition:(noun) One that closely imitates or mimics another.
Synonyms:aper, emulator, imitator
Usage: Stop being such a copycat and get your own hobbies!
Article of the Day

Down Feathers

Down feathers are the soft, fine feathers that lie underneath the tougher exterior feathers of some adult birds and help prevent the loss of body heat. Because of its light weight, compressibility, and ability to retain heat, down is considered the best insulation material for outdoor equipment and is used in goods such as jackets, pillows, and sleeping bags. The discovery of feathers encased in ancient amber suggests that what now-extinct creatures may have also sported down-like feathers? More...
This Day in History

Tensions between US and USSR First Described as "Cold War" (1947)

Lasting from the end of WWII until 1991, the Cold War was a period of political hostility and military tension between the Western powers, primarily the US and its allies, and the Communist bloc. Although there were a number of military conflicts during this time, including the Berlin Blockade, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War was waged mainly on political, economic, and propaganda fronts. Who first used the term "Cold War" to describe the conflict? More...
Today's Birthday

Jules Hardouin Mansart (1646)

Mansart was a French architect and town planner who completed the Palace of Versailles. Favored by Louis XIV, he was made the chief architect for royal buildings. After enlarging the château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, he began work at Versailles. Much of his work was executed in Roman baroque style, but some of his designs at Versailles point toward the lightness and elegance of the rococo. The impressive Dôme des Invalides in Paris is considered his greatest achievement. Who was his great-uncle? More...
Quotation of the Day
Rising genius always shoots out its rays from among the clouds, but these will gradually roll away and disappear as it ascends to its steady luster.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

dead asleep

In a deep, immovable sleep. More...
Today's Holiday

Thingyan

The three-day feast of the New Year in Burma (now Myanmar) is also known as the Water Festival because of the custom of throwing or squirting water on others. The festival has been a tradition for centuries. During the celebration, pots of clear water are offered to monks at monasteries to wash or sprinkle images of the Buddha. Everyone else gets drenched, as young men and women roam the streets dousing everybody with buckets of water or turning hoses on them. The water-splashing custom originated with the idea that, through this ritual, the bad luck and sins of the old year were washed away. More...
In the News

Monkeys Show Basic Numeracy Skills

In a basic numeracy test, long-tailed macaques were able to understand relative quantities and to point out which of two plates contained more pebbles. Researchers initially performed the test using raisins, which the monkeys would then be fed as a reward; however, the monkeys' impulsive desire to eat the raisins impaired their judgment, and they frequently chose wrong on that test. Once researchers swapped out the raisins for inedible items, the monkeys were able to successfully complete the task. More...
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