Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 24, 2011)
Word of the Day

scurvy

Definition:(adjective) Of the most contemptible kind.
Synonyms:abject, low-down, scummy, miserable, low
Usage: It was a scurvy trick to play on a helpless old lady, but he was desperate for money and therefore went along with the plan to swindle her out of her life savings.
Article of the Day

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh was the first systematically organized library in West Asia. It was created by Ashurbanipal, the last great Assyrian king, who reigned in the 7th century BCE and controlled most of the then-known world. Excavations at the site have uncovered thousands of clay tablets constituting today's chief source of knowledge about ancient Mesopotamia. The collection includes historical and scientific literature, flood and creation myths, and what famous epic? More...
This Day in History

Pluto Gets Demoted (2006)

Although it was recognized as a planet for decades, Pluto is much smaller than the other planets in our solar system and more closely resembles a giant comet nucleus. Consequently, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the category of dwarf planet, which reflected astronomers' conclusion that it is a member of the Kuiper belt, a strip of billions of icy bodies orbiting the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune. What is a "plutino"? More...
Today's Birthday

Lavinia Fontana (1552)

One of the few female Italian artists of the 16th century, Lavinia Fontana was the daughter of Italian mannerist painter Prospero Fontana. She was a fashionable portrait painter in Bologna and Rome who was especially noted for the vibrant color and detail of her works. Her self-portraits and a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII show a fine decorative sense in the treatment of costume. She was also a painter of religious subjects. What are some of her major works? More...
Quotation of the Day
I would rather be a freeman among slaves than a slave among freemen.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

a ground ball with eyes

In baseball, a ball that is hit onto the ground and narrowly eludes two or more infielders, allowing the batter to take a base. It is said to have "eyes" because it seems to "see" its way between the two defensive players. More...
Today's Holiday

Ukraine Independence Day (2016)

On this day in 1991, just after a failed coup in Moscow, Ukraine declared its independence from the USSR. On December 1, 1991, 90 percent of the people voted for independence. More...
In the News

Spider Silk Used to Make Bulletproof Skin

Bulletproof skin may sound like something from a science-fiction movie, but with the help of researchers who genetically modified goats and silkworms to produce spider silk, Dutch artist Jalila Essaidi has made it a reality. To make the "skin," she grafted silk from transgenic silkworms between two layers of human skin, the epidermis and dermis. When bullets were fired at the material at reduced speeds, they were unable to pierce it. For the researchers producing the silk, more exciting than the skin's ability to repel bullets is its potential use as a grafting material for large wounds. More...
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