Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, August 11, 2013)
Word of the Day

stopgap

Definition:(noun) An improvised substitute for something lacking; a temporary expedient.
Synonyms:make-do, makeshift
Usage: This is not an acceptable long term solution, just a stopgap.
Article of the Day

Whale Falls

Whale carcasses that have sunk to the sea floor are known in the scientific community as whale falls. Around them spring up complex localized ecosystems, which feed off the rich sustenance they provide for decades. The phenomenon was accidentally discovered in 1987 by a team of University of Hawaii oceanographers, who were exploring the ocean depths with a robotic submersible. Many previously unknown species have since been discovered at whale falls. Which organisms thrive in this environment? More...
This Day in History

Weimar Constitution Signed into Law (1919)

Written immediately after World War I, the Weimar Constitution was the document that governed the short-lived Weimar Republic of Germany. It declared the nation a federal republic governed by a president and parliament and was a strong attempt to establish a liberal democracy in Germany. However, it was adopted during a time of civil conflict and failed with the ascent of the Nazi Party in 1933. How did Hitler manage to subvert the Weimar Constitution after he came to power? More...
Today's Birthday

Christiaan Eijkman (1858)

While seeking a bacterial cause for the nutritional disorder beriberi, Eijkman, a Dutch pathologist, noticed a resemblance between a nerve disorder in his laboratory chickens and the symptoms of beriberi. He traced the chickens' disorder to a change in their feed—it had been switched from brown to white rice—and surmised that white rice lacked a dietary component found in brown rice. This eventually led to the discovery of vitamins and earned him a 1929 Nobel Prize, which he shared with whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
November, n.: The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

get the gist

To understand the central, essential, or general matter of something, such as an argument, speech, concept, process, etc., without being proficient in the more specific details. More...
Today's Holiday

Battle of Flowers

First held in 1902 as part of the celebration for the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, the Battle of Flowers takes place on Jersey in the British Channel Islands every August. It begins with a parade of floats covered in flowers, many of which are quite elaborate and take months to prepare. Spectators no longer engage in a flower-throwing melee after the parade—these days the "battle" consists of a competition for the finest floats. A moonlight parade Friday night displays the floats with their illuminations and concludes with a fireworks finale. More...
In the News

Night Owls Become Morning People When Camping

Before the advent of electric lighting, people for the most part rose and went to sleep according to the Sun. Nowadays, people stay up till all hours. Exposure to artificial lighting and limited exposure to natural sunlight appear to throw off our natural circadian rhythms and affect melatonin levels. This, in turn, affects our alertness. For those who wish to reset their internal clock, all it takes, apparently, is a week of camping. If you are unable to take a week out of your life to commune with nature, small lifestyle changes like walking outdoors in the mornings and dimming lights and electronic devices at night could help get your circadian rhythm back on track. More...
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