Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, May 13, 2011)
Word of the Day

umbrageous

Definition:(adjective) Affording or forming shade.
Synonyms:shadowed, shady
Usage: The chief beauty of trees consists in the deep shadow of their umbrageous boughs.
Article of the Day

Slugs, Parsecs, and Other Units of Measure

Sometimes, scientists use unusual units of measure when conventional units prove impractical. For example, in physics, a slug is the unit of mass that is accelerated at the rate of one foot per second per second when acted on by a force of one pound. In astronomy, a parsec is a unit of length for interstellar distances, equal to 206,265 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun—3.26 light-years or about 19 million million miles (3.08 × 1013 km). What are some other unusual units of measure? More...
This Day in History

Lei Áurea: Slavery Abolished in Brazil (1888)

By the 1870s, the plantation culture of northeast Brazil was already crumbling, and the growth of the movement to abolish slavery threatened it even more. The slave trade had been abolished in 1850, and a law for gradual emancipation was passed in 1871. In 1888, while Pedro II was in Europe and his daughter Isabel was governing, slavery was completely abolished—making Brazil the last Western nation to do so. The law that officially abolished slavery was called Lei Áurea, which means what? More...
Today's Birthday

Beatrice "Bea" Arthur (1922)

Arthur was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose lengthy career began on the stage. In 1966, she won a Tony award for her role in the musical Mame. She went on to achieve fame on television as the character Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family and Maude and as Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, winning Emmy Awards for both roles. Arthur appeared in what notoriously poorly received 1978 holiday TV special? More...
Quotation of the Day
Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

fair-weather fan

A person who is supportive of and enthusiastic about a sports team only when that team is performing well. More...
Today's Holiday

Lemuralia

In ancient Rome, the lemures were the ghosts of the family's dead, who were considered to be troublesome and therefore had to be exorcized on a regular basis. The Lemuralia, or Lemuria, was a yearly festival held on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May to get rid of the lemures. Participants walked barefoot, cleansed their hands three times, and threw black beans behind them nine times to appease the spirits of the dead. On the third day of the festival, a merchants' festival was held to ensure a prosperous year for business. More...
In the News

Youngsters Can Recall Memories from Early Life

Young children are able to recall memories of events that occurred well before they turned two years old, but they have no recollection of these memories later in life. Experts interviewed 100 children between the ages of 4 and 13 and found that the younger ones could recall memories from as early as 18 months of age. Two years later, those same children described different, later events as their earliest memories and did not recall the earlier memories they had previously recounted, even when presented with prompts by interviewers. It is possible that this is caused by differences between the encoding of earlier memories and later ones. More...
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