Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, July 08, 2014)
Word of the Day

banality

Definition:(noun) The condition or quality of being banal; triviality.
Synonyms:unoriginality, predictability, dullness, ordinariness, staleness, vapidity, triteness
Usage: My friends pursued their course with uneventfulness; they had no longer any surprises for me; even their love-affairs had a tedious banality.
Article of the Day

The Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in Washington, DC, in 1971 as a living memorial to its namesake. Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, the center is surfaced in marble and makes use of the ornamental facade screens for which the architect was known. Its Grand Foyer faces the Potomac River. The cultural complex houses six stages, the largest of which—the Concert Hall—has been designated a national monument. Who ceremoniously broke ground on the Kennedy Center? More...
This Day in History

Vasco da Gama Sets Sail on First Direct European Voyage to India (1497)

In 1497, da Gama began his epochal voyage to India, becoming the first European to journey there directly by sea. With four vessels, he rounded the Cape of Good Hope, passed the easternmost point reached by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, continued up the coast of Africa to Malindi, and sailed across the Indian Ocean to Calicut. His voyage opened up a way for Europe to reach the Indies and marked the beginning of the Portuguese Empire. For what brutal methods was da Gama known during his travels? More...
Today's Birthday

Alfred Binet (1857)

A major figure in the development of experimental psychology in France, Binet founded L'Année Psychologique, the first French journal on psychology, in 1895. He is also known for his research and innovations in measuring reasoning ability. Between 1905 and 1911, he and Théodore Simon developed influential scales for the measurement of the intelligence of children, which, with revisions, came into wide use in schools, industries, and the army. How did the scales work? More...
Quotation of the Day
The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

a going concern

A business, enterprise, or activity that has done well thus far and is expected to continue making a profit. More...
Today's Holiday

'Ksan Celebrations (2016)

On Friday evenings in July and August, dances and accompanying songs are performed by the 'Ksan, or Gitxsan, people in a longhouse in a village in Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada. The dances are said to go back to pre-history; they were revived in 1958, and the 'Ksan dancers have since performed in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Kansas City, Missouri, and even Australia. Performers must be Git 'Ksan, meaning "People of the 'Ksan" (named after the nearby Skeena River). More...
In the News

Gene from Extinct Humans Helps Tibetans Breathe Easy

The genetic adaptation that allows Tibetans to survive and live comfortably at altitudes that would make most other humans on Earth terribly sick came from an extinct species of human. The variant of the EPAS-1 gene carried by nearly 90 percent of Tibetans closely matches that of the extinct Denisovan people. This gene is involved in regulating hemoglobin production and helps the body produce enough red blood cells to cope with low oxygen levels but not so many as to dangerously thicken the blood. The findings suggest that at some point in the history of the Tibetan people, their ancestors mated with Denisovans, thereby acquiring this adaptation. More...
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