Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, June 08, 2014)
Word of the Day

automaton

Definition:(noun) A mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power.
Synonyms:robot
Usage: The automaton was considered a feat of engineering until it broke down on its second day of operation.
Article of the Day

Buckypaper

Scientists have applied inventor Buckminster Fuller's name not only to the 60-carbon molecule—the "buckyball"—whose arrangement of atoms resembles his geodesic dome, but to various other objects. Buckypaper, for instance, is a thin sheet made of carbon nanotubes—"buckytubes"—that are approximately 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. Buckypaper is one tenth the weight yet potentially 500 times stronger than steel when its sheets are stacked to form a composite. What are its possible uses? More...
This Day in History

US Postal Service's First and Only Delivery of "Missile Mail" (1959)

In 1959, the US Navy assisted the US Post Office Department—predecessor of today's US Postal Service—in its search for a faster form of mail transportation. The USPS tried its first and only delivery of "missile mail" when a Navy submarine fired a guided cruise missile containing 3,000 pieces of mail off the Florida coast. Twenty-two minutes later, the missile landed at a naval station in Mayport, Florida. What bold claims did the postmaster general make about missile mail at the time? More...
Today's Birthday

Lena Baker (1901)

Baker was an African-American maid who was executed for murder by the State of Georgia in 1945 for killing her employer, Ernest Knight. The only woman ever executed by electrocution in Georgia, Baker was fully pardoned 60 years after her death. At her trial, she claimed that Knight had imprisoned her and threatened to shoot her if she attempted to leave, so she had taken his gun and shot him in self defense. Her trial was presided over by Judge William "Two Gun" Worrill and lasted how long? More...
Quotation of the Day
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

abstract idea

An idea or thought that is intangible or outside the constraints or possibilities of the real world. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Médardus's Day (2016)

St. Médardus, or Médard, who lived from about 470 to 560, was the bishop of Vermandois, Noyon, and Tournai in France. Because he was the patron saint of farmers and good weather, he has come to play a role in weather lore similar to that of the English St. Swithin. In Belgium, he is known as the rain saint, and there is an old folk rhyme that says, "If it rains on St. Médard's Day, it will rain for 40 days." More...
In the News

Sleep Promotes Learning through Synapse Formation

Sleep has long been known to play a vital role in the learning process, but the precise science behind it was not fully understood. Using advanced microscopy, researchers were able to observe the formation of new synapses, or connections between nerve cells, in the brain and found that sleep-deprived subjects form fewer new connections than those allowed to sleep properly. Even intense, extended training on a task cannot make up for sleep deprivation. The findings suggest that sleep promotes the formation of new synaptic connections, thereby contributing to learning and memory formation. More...
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