Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, May 01, 2013)
Word of the Day

prehension

Definition:(noun) The act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles).
Synonyms:taking hold, grasping, seizing
Usage: A well-developed tail … might subsequently come to be worked in for all sorts of purposes, as a fly-flapper, an organ of prehension, or as an aid in turning.
Article of the Day

Queen Catherine de' Medici

A member of the powerful Medici family, Catherine married Henry II in 1533, and together they had 10 children. She became queen when Henry inherited the crown in 1547. Though he largely excluded her from state affairs, she was thrust into the political arena upon his death in 1559. As regent for her young sons, first Francis II and then Charles IX, she determined state policy to a considerable extent. For that reason, she is generally blamed for what massacre carried out under Charles IX's rule? More...
This Day in History

Founding of the Illuminati (1776)

The Illuminati were members of a rationalistic society founded in Germany by Adam Weishaupt. Having close affinities with the Freemasons and seemingly organized on a Masonic plan, the group was briefly very popular among German rationalists but had limited influence. The Roman Catholic Church, which Weishaupt left in his youth and rejoined before his death, condemned the Illuminati. In 1785, the Bavarian government dissolved the organization. What conspiracy theories involve the Illuminati? More...
Today's Birthday

Calamity Jane (1852)

Born Martha Jane Canary, Calamity Jane was a legendary American frontierswoman. She grew up in Montana and worked in mining camps, where she acquired riding and shooting skills. In 1876, she appeared in Deadwood, South Dakota, the site of new gold strikes, boasting of her marksmanship and her exploits as a pony-express rider and as a scout with Custer's forces. It was there that she likely met Wild Bill Hickok, who would become her companion. How did Jane claim to have acquired her nickname? More...
Quotation of the Day
If you know what a man's doing, get in front of him; but if you want to guess what he's doing, keep behind him.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

don't get me started

An exclamation of weariness or despair regarding a topic that has just been introduced and about which the speaker feels very strongly and (usually) has a negative opinion of. More...
Today's Holiday

Vappu

Vappu is a national holiday and celebration of the coming of spring in Finland. This traditional festival is also Labor Day, and factories that are said to "never close" do close on May 1 (and Christmas Day). For students, the "anything goes" celebration begins at midnight on the eve of May Day, called Vapunaatto, when they wear white student caps and indulge in anything not indecent or criminal. There are balloons, streamers, horns, and masks everywhere, and few get much sleep. On May Day itself, the students lead processions through the streets of Helsinki, and then enjoy carnivals and concerts. More...
In the News

Flavor of Beer Excites Brain

Just a spritz of beer on the tongue is enough to trigger the brain's reward centers and increase the desire to drink. Researchers scanned the brains of volunteers while spraying small quantities of either a sports drink or beer in their mouths and found that beer elicited a greater release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Interestingly, the beverage's flavor appeared to have the greatest effect on participants with a family history of alcoholism, suggesting that the addiction has a degree of heritability. More...
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