Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, April 20, 2012)
Word of the Day

luster

Definition:(noun) The visual property of something that shines with reflected light.
Synonyms:sheen, shininess
Usage: Distant masses of plants and flowers, mingled in ever-varying forms of beauty, are touched by the melancholy luster of the rising moon.
Article of the Day

The Catacombs of Rome

The catacombs—underground tunnel systems lined with recesses for bodies—of Rome date to about the 1st century and were built due to land shortages and because persecuted Christians needed a place to bury their dead. Early Christians also took refuge and occasionally worshipped in the tunnels. Thus they are unique in their abundance of Early Christian artwork and iconography. Forgotten for centuries, the catacombs were accidently rediscovered in 1578. Why is Rome uniquely suited for such tunnels? More...
This Day in History

The Columbine High School Massacre (1999)

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were seniors at Colorado's Columbine High School when they carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 21 others before taking their own lives. The incident, widely covered by the media, stirred debate about the pair's motivation for the killings, the availability of firearms, and the role of bullying, video games, and music in acts of violence. For what crime had the two been previously arrested? More...
Today's Birthday

Philippe Pinel (1745)

After moving to Paris in 1778, Pinel, a French physician, was appointed director of the Bicêtre and Salpêtrière hospitals. His experiences there prompted him to advocate for the humane treatment of mentally ill persons—then called the insane—and for the empirical study of mental disease. He further contributed to the development of psychiatry by establishing the practice of thoroughly documenting psychiatric case histories for research. What initially inspired Pinel's interest in mental illness? More...
Quotation of the Day
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

derring-do

Heroic, brave, or daring deeds or spirit, especially when referring to swordplay or other action-adventure scenarios. More...
Today's Holiday

Inconfidência Week (2016)

The Inconfidência was a colonial uprising for Brazilian independence from Portugal at the end of the 18th century. It is celebrated during the week of April 21 by paying tribute to Joaquim José da Silva Xavier—also known as Tiradentes ("tooth-puller") because of his dentistry practice—who became a martyr for independence when the uprising was put down and he was executed. The Inconfidência Week festivities include performances by orchestras, bands, and choirs, and athletic competitions. More...
In the News

Researchers Say Breast Cancer Not 1 Disease But 10

In what is being hailed as a landmark study on the genetics of breast cancer, researchers concluded that the disease has 10 distinct subtypes. They say that breast cancer should now be considered an umbrella term for a group of diseases rather than a single malady. The findings could allow scientists to develop more effective treatments precisely tailored to target the specific tumor type. Whereas breast cancers are currently classified according to the presence of certain biomarkers, like estrogen receptors, the new research examines the genetics of the tumor cells and categorizes them according to the genes driving their growth. More...
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