Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, July 12, 2012)
Word of the Day

roofless

Definition:(adjective) Physically or spiritually homeless or deprived of security.
Synonyms:dispossessed
Usage: How matters were finally settled I do not know, but we found ourselves roofless, shelterless, and without a copper.
Article of the Day

Cyanide Poisoning

There are numerous cyanide compounds, and, whether inhaled or ingested, most are deadly. Some occur naturally in almonds and in fruit seeds and pits. Cyanide deprives body tissues of oxygen, and symptoms of poisoning include bitter almond-scented breath, dizziness, convulsions, and collapse. Though antidotes exist, cyanide can kill within minutes, making it a historically notable murder weapon. What might explain why Rasputin survived after eating cyanide-laced cakes and wine? More...
This Day in History

French National Assembly Adopts Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was an act passed during the French Revolution that subordinated the Roman Catholic Church to the state. Under the act, citizens would elect clergymen and the state would pay their wages. When the National Assembly ordered the clergy to take an oath supporting the Civil Constitution, many refused. The resulting schism within the French church caused many Catholics to turn against the Revolution. What effect did the constitution have on monastic orders? More...
Today's Birthday

Milton Berle (1908)

Berle was an American comedian and the first major US television star. He began acting in vaudeville at age 10 and went on to perform in more than 50 silent films, on radio, and as a nightclub comedian. His great success, however, was as the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater, which earned him the nickname "Mr. Television." He contributed significantly to the medium's growing popularity, and many are said to have bought TV sets just to watch "Uncle Miltie." How did he get that nickname? More...
Quotation of the Day
To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.

John Milton (1608-1674)

Idiom of the Day

go through a phase

To experience or be in the midst of a temporary period of change, development, or fluctuation. More...
Today's Holiday

Orange Day

Sometimes referred to simply as The Twelfth, this is the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. In 1668, James II, who was Roman Catholic, was deposed and his throne was given to William of Orange, a Protestant. The Protestants won a decisive victory and formed the Orange Order, committed to maintaining the link with Protestant England. As Irishmen left Ireland and England for the New World, lodges of Orangemen were formed in Canada and the United States, where Orange Day is still observed by Protestant Irish. More...
In the News

Studies Refute Arsenic-Based Life Claims

In 2010, scientists announced that they had found a bacterium in California's arsenic-rich Mono Lake capable of substituting arsenic for phosphorus—one of six elements considered essential for life—in critical parts of its working biology, including its DNA. The announcement raised the possibility that similar life forms could exist elsewhere in the universe. However, two new scientific papers refute the findings, claiming that there is no evidence arsenic was incorporated into the microbe's DNA and that the samples taken in the original study did in fact contain trace amounts of phosphorous that would account for the microbe's growth. More...
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