Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 28, 2013)
Word of the Day

asinine

Definition:(adjective) Utterly stupid or silly.
Synonyms:fatuous, inane, vacuous, mindless
Usage: The class clown's asinine behavior in the classroom landed him, once again, in detention.
Article of the Day

Extremophiles

Extremophiles are microorganisms that thrive in environments with extreme conditions, such as high or low temperatures or pH levels, high salt concentration, or high pressure. Found in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, they produce the vivid colors of some hot springs. Due to extremophiles' ability to thrive in conditions detrimental to most life on Earth, some scientists theorize that they may reflect what life may be like on other planets. How are extremophiles used industrially? More...
This Day in History

Caleb Davis Bradham Begins Selling "Pepsi-Cola" (1898)

Bradham was a pharmacist who invented a soft drink made with kola nut extract, vanilla, and "rare oils." He believed his drink aided digestion and renamed it "Pepsi-Cola" after the kola nut and pepsin, an enzyme that aids in digestion. In 1902, he incorporated the Pepsi-Cola Co, and, in 1931, the trademark and assets were bought by Charles Guth, who improved the formula and marketed a 12-ounce bottle for five cents with huge success. What did Bradham originally call his drink? More...
Today's Birthday

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749)

Goethe was a German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist whose dramatic poem Faust is considered one of the world's greatest poetic and philosophic creations. In it, he represents Faust, the legendary scholar who sold his soul to the devil, tragically, as a singularly modern figure who is condemned to remain unsatisfied by life. In his later years, Goethe was celebrated as a sage and visited by world luminaries. Goethe wrote which of his novels while suicidal over an unrequited love? More...
Quotation of the Day
She might yet be able to help him to the building of the rainbow bridge that should connect the prose in us with the passion. Without it we are meaningless fragments, half monks, half beasts, unconnected arches that have never joined into a man.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

half-pint

Any small, weak, and/or insignificant person. Alludes to a pint, a unit of liquid measurement. More...
Today's Holiday

Plague Sunday

When the plague reached the village of Eyam, Derbyshire, England, in 1665, about three-fifths of the town's population was wiped out. But under the leadership of Vicar William Mompesson, the villagers voluntarily isolated themselves from other villages in the parish. Every year on the last Sunday in August, a procession of clergy, standard bearers, choir members, and musicians forms at Eyam's parish church and proceeds up the road leading toward a place up in the hills known as Cucklet Dell. A simple sermon pays tribute to the plague victims and the 74 villagers who survived. More...
In the News

This Is Your Brain on Drugs

Using cocaine just once may change a person's brain structure, making him or her more likely to seek out or crave the drug again. Within hours of being exposed to cocaine, the brain cells of mice displayed increased development of protrusions called dendritic spines, believed to be involved in memory formation. Those mice whose brains were most changed by the cocaine exposure seemed to develop the greatest preference for the drug, suggesting that this is part of the process of learning addiction. More...
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