Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, September 15, 2016)
Word of the Day

scintilla

Definition:(noun) A minute amount; an iota or trace.
Synonyms:shred, smidge, smidgeon, tittle, whit
Usage: When the party was over, not a scintilla of food remained.
Article of the Day

Orcas

Found in oceans worldwide, orcas display sophisticated hunting techniques and social behaviors that have been described by experts as manifestations of a shared culture. Like other dolphins, orcas produce a variety of vocalizations used for communication and echolocation. Orca mothers have even been observed training their young in the group's dialect, and it is said that groups that share ancestors are likely to have a similar set of call types. What does this suggest about orca vocal behavior? More...
This Day in History

Steam Locomotive John Bull Operates for the First Time (1831)

The John Bull is a steam locomotive that ran on the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad built in New Jersey. Retired in 1866, the locomotive was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1885 and became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world in 1981, when it was operated in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of its first use. Though its official name was Stevens, crews began calling it John Bull, and the name eventually stuck. What made them choose that name? More...
Today's Birthday

Dame Agatha Christie (1890)

Christie, a British mystery novelist and playwright known for her detective figures Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, wrote over 75 novels, including Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None. Her books have been translated into 100 languages and have sold over 100 million copies, and her play The Mousetrap, still running after 23,000 performances, holds the record for longest initial run in theatrical history. What prompted Christie's 1926 disappearance? More...
Quotation of the Day
When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

harp on the same string

To dwell tediously and repeatedly upon a single subject or topic, especially in complaint. Likened to playing the same note over and over again on a harp. More...
Today's Holiday

Mid-Autumn Festival (2016)

This festival to honor the moon goddess is a national holiday in China and a day celebrated in Asian communities all over the world. Family reunions are traditional on this day. People travel long distances to be together for exchanging presents, feasting, and eating moon cakes, which in their roundness are symbolic of family unity. Some are made of lotus seed paste, some of red bean paste, and some have a duck egg in the center. There are varying versions of the origins of the festival; the most accepted is that the day is a harvest festival at a time when the moon is brightest. More...
In the News

Why Some Women Find Good Sleep Tough to Get

Some women have trouble staying asleep, and a new small study may shed light on why. Women's internal, or circadian, body clocks run at a faster pace than men's, according to the research. It's as if women operate in a different "internal time zone," said ... More...
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