Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, May 12, 2013)
Word of the Day

bedevil

Definition:(verb) Be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly.
Synonyms:befuddle, confound, discombobulate, fox, throw
Usage: Jerry frequently bedevils his conversation partners by rapidly and abruptly changing topics.
Article of the Day

Electricity

Electrical phenomena, caused by the presence and flow of electric charge, have been studied since antiquity. Static electricity was the first of them to be recognized and investigated. As early as 600 BCE, certain cultures had discovered that rubbing amber with fur caused it to attract light objects such as feathers. Some 2,200 years later, English scientist William Gilbert coined the term "electricity" to describe the electrification of substances. How did he come up with the word? More...
This Day in History

North American Aerospace Defense Command Founded (1958)

North American Aerospace Defense Command, commonly abbreviated NORAD, is a bi-national command of the US and Canada that maintains the sovereignty of North American airspace by providing aerospace surveillance as well as warning and assessment of aerospace attacks. Headquartered deep inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, NORAD was formed in 1958 during the Cold War to provide security in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack. What false alarms have occurred since its inception? More...
Today's Birthday

Katharine Hepburn (1907)

Hepburn made her Broadway debut in 1928 and became a star with her first film, A Bill of Divorcement, in 1932. She brought a spirited individuality and strength of character to the screen in her roles in films such as Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, and The African Queen. She made eight films with her longtime partner Spencer Tracy, eventually starring in 43 films. No actress has ever won more Academy Awards than Hepburn. How many did she win? More...
Quotation of the Day
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

extra pair of hands

Additional help or assistance provided by another person. More...
Today's Holiday

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

This festival is one of the most spectacular events in Hong Kong, celebrated only on Cheung Chau, one of the outlying islands. Three bamboo towers, up to about 60 feet high and covered with sweet pink and white buns, are dedicated to the spirits and intended to placate them. The buns placed highest in the towers are held to be the luckiest, and people climb up in a race to get them. In the highlight of the festival, the images of the temple gods are carried in a procession of lion and dragon dancers and children aged about five to eight, who seem to float above the procession. More...
In the News

Project to Develop Unnatural Natural Light Sources Funded

A team of innovators has raised over $300,000 (and counting)—well above its $65,000 goal—to fund the development of glowing plants that it hopes will one day yield enough light to reduce the need for electric light sources and provide us instead with a more sustainable alternative. The team will start by introducing a bioluminescence gene into a small flowering plant, and, if successful, it plans to follow this with a glowing rose plant. In time, the developers hope, glowing trees will light our way at night instead of street lamps. More...
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