Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

staid

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by sedate dignity and often a strait-laced sense of propriety.
Synonyms:serious, sober, quiet, calm, grave, steady, composed, solemn
Usage: I instinctively stood up a little straighter when the staid duke entered the parlor.
Article of the Day

Schrödinger's Cat in Popular Culture

In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger applied quantum-mechanical indeterminacy to an admittedly “ridiculous” thought experiment in which a cat is closed in a box with a vial of poison that will smash if a radioactive atom decays. The two possible yet mutually exclusive states—the cat being alive or dead—coexist until the box is opened and the cat's fate is seen. Writers have pounced on the idea, weaving it into TV shows, books, and movies. What TV character referenced it after a kiss? More...
This Day in History

Mayflower Sets Sail for New England (1620)

The Mayflower set sail from England to the New World with 102 passengers and about 25 crew members. After a two-month voyage marked by disease, the ship dropped anchor in Cape Cod Bay. After spending the winter selecting a suitable site for their new colony and drawing up an agreement for its temporary government by the will of the majority—the Mayflower Compact—the surviving passengers settled Plymouth. Why did the Speedwell, which set out with the Mayflower, turn back? More...
Today's Birthday

Julia Drusilla (16 CE)

Drusilla was the sister of the Roman Emperor Caligula, a man widely characterized as insane, autocratic, and cruel. Drusilla was reportedly her brother's favorite sibling. During banquets at his residence, she consistently occupied the seat of honor normally reserved for the host's wife and, perhaps because of this practice, was rumored to be Caligula's lover. Upon Drusilla's death, Caligula had the Roman Senate declare her "Diva Drusilla," deifying her as a representation of what goddess? More...
Quotation of the Day
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

harp away at (someone or something)

To complain about or dwell upon someone or something repeatedly and to the point of tediousness. More...
Today's Holiday

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

In 1994, the United Nations established September 16 as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The date honors the September 16, 1987, signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Nations may observe the day with activities that support the aims of the Protocol. More...
In the News

BRCA1 Not Predictive of Breast Cancer Survival

Mutations in the BRCA1 gene may raise a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, but they do not appear to worsen her chances of survival following diagnosis. About four out of five women live for at least 10 years following a breast cancer diagnosis, whether or not they have a BRCA1 mutation. Whether cancerous cells have infiltrated the lymph nodes is a much stronger predictor of survival. Breast cancer patients with positive lymph node status are three times more likely to die during that same period than those without. More...
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