Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, June 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

paltry

Definition:(adjective) Contemptibly small in amount.
Synonyms:petty, trivial, trifling, beggarly, derisory, measly, piddling
Usage: The miserly millionaire was criticized for his paltry donation, but even public shaming was not enough to make him part with more money.
Article of the Day

Rogue Waves

Rogue waves were once thought to be the stuff of sailors' lore, but scientists have since established that these ostensibly unpredictable, abnormally large ocean surface waves are indeed real. Though similar in appearance to tsunamis, rogue waves are an entirely different phenomenon. Tsunamis are often preceded by an undersea earthquake, but rogue waves spring up without warning in seemingly calm waters, often far out at sea. What famously ill-fated ship may have been the victim of a rogue wave? More...
This Day in History

Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova Becomes First Woman in Space (1963)

Tereshkova was a Soviet cosmonaut who became the first woman to fly in space. In 1963, she was the solo pilot of a three-day flight aboard Vostok 6, orbiting the Earth 48 times. Her flight was her only experience in space, and she left the Soviet space program soon after and married cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev. Their daughter, Elena, born a year later, was the first child of parents who had both been in space. What was Tereshkova's job before she was recruited as a cosmonaut? More...
Today's Birthday

George Gaylord Simpson (1902)

Simpson, an American paleontologist, helped develop the modern biological theory of evolution, drawing on paleontology, genetics, ecology, and natural selection. His contributions to evolutionary theory include a detailed classification of mammals, which is still the standard, and the discovery of the migratory and evolutionary patterns of the prehistoric fauna of the Americas, from which he deduced that species reached adaptive peaks and suffered accidental dispersal. What word did he coin? More...
Quotation of the Day
Envy is ignorance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

agree in principle

To accept the general terms and/or conditions of a deal without having completed or agreed upon the specific details. More...
Today's Holiday

Bloomsday (2016)

James Joyce's novel Ulysses describes the events of a single day in Dublin: June 16, 1904. First published in Paris in 1922, Ulysses caused an uproar when it finally did appear in Ireland. But since 1954, Bloomsday—named after the novel's main character, Leopold Bloom—has been a Joycean feast day, observed with a number of events throughout Dublin that commemorate its illustrious author and the lives of his characters. There is a ritual pilgrimage along the path followed by Bloom, public readings from the novel, costume parties, and parades. More...
In the News

Old Bones Help Scientists Dig Into Leprosy's History

Leprosy has plagued people for millennia, and though it all but disappeared from Europe in the 16th century, it remains a significant problem in other parts of the world. DNA analyses of leprosy-causing bacteria extracted from 1,000-year-old European skeletons are helping researchers piece together where the disease came from, how it spread, and how it has evolved. The findings support the theory that the Crusades were in part responsible for spreading the disease and suggest that European colonists may have later brought it to the Americas. More...
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