Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, September 20, 2013)
Word of the Day

profligacy

Definition:(noun) The trait of spending extravagantly.
Synonyms:prodigality, extravagance
Usage: They fell on hard times but did not curb their spending, and this profligacy soon brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.
Article of the Day

Biological Pest Control

Biological pest control involves the introduction of natural enemies, such as predators, parasites, or pathogens, into the environments of pests. Once a natural enemy is successfully established, it rarely requires additional human action. Examples of effective biocontrol include using ladybugs to prey on aphids and treating turf with the bacterium Bacillus popilliae, which is fatal to Japanese beetle larvae. What pest were dachshunds originally bred to control? More...
This Day in History

Saladin Begins Siege of Jerusalem (1187)

Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders in 1099 during the First Crusade and served as the capital of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem for most of the 12th century, but it was besieged and captured by Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim warrior and Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, after his decisive victory at Hattin in 1187. The Crusaders negotiated a surrender, and the two parties agreed to a peaceful handover of the city to Saladin, preventing the sort of massacre that had occurred when? More...
Today's Birthday

James Dewar (1842)

Dewar was a British chemist and physicist best known for his work on the properties of matter at very low temperatures and the liquefaction of gases. In the course of his work, he liquefied and solidified hydrogen and invented the Dewar flask. Used for storing liquefied gases, his Dewar flask—a double-walled flask with an insulating vacuum between the inner and outer walls—became essential in low-temperature scientific work. What everyday item was patterned after Dewar's flask? More...
Quotation of the Day
Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

have enough on (one's) plate

To be sufficiently busy or preoccupied with work, problems, or difficulties as to be unable or unwilling to cope with anything more. More...
Today's Holiday

Oktoberfest

The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810, in honor of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Saxony-Hildburghausen. Since that time it has become, above all else, a celebration of German beer. The Lord Mayor of Munich, Germany, opens the first barrel, and the 16-day festival begins. Both citizens and tourists flock to this event, which is marked by folk costume parades in which brewery horses draw floats and decorated beer wagons through the streets. Oktoberfest celebrations are also held in cities throughout the United States. More...
In the News

Sleeping Builds Brain Cells

Why do we need to sleep? Obviously, without it we are tired, irritable, and unable to think and function as effectively as we otherwise could, but why is this? What are the underlying biological processes that drive this need? Scientists have long been grappling with this topic, and recent research has yielded some pretty interesting findings. During sleep, the production of nervous system cells that generate myelin, a substance that insulates the nerves and permits the rapid transmission of nerve impulses, doubles in mice. This suggests that sleep may serve certain reparative and growth functions in the brain. More...
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