Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, September 29, 2015)
Word of the Day

variola

Definition:(noun) An acute, highly infectious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus and characterized by high fever and aches with subsequent widespread eruption of pimples that blister, produce pus, and form pockmarks.
Synonyms:smallpox
Usage: We could tell from the scars on the faces of the villagers that a variola epidemic had passed through the area in their lifetimes.
Article of the Day

Extreme Ironing

The sport of extreme ironing, in which people take an iron and ironing board to a remote location and perform the typically mundane household chore in an extreme setting, was developed by Englishman Phil Shaw in 1997. Shaw's 1999 international tour promoted the activity, which, according to the official website, is "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt." In what adventurous settings has it been done? More...
This Day in History

CERN Is Founded (1954)

Abbreviated as CERN after the original French name, the European Organization for Nuclear Research is the world's largest particle physics laboratory. CERN's activities are sponsored by 20 European countries. It was there that the World Wide Web—developed to promote scientific collaboration by facilitating information sharing—was invented in the 1990s. CERN's latest project, the Large Hadron Collider, is, among other things, being used to discover the hypothesized Higgs boson, which is what? More...
Today's Birthday

László Bíró (1899)

Frustrated by the way his fountain pen's sharp tip would tear paper and by the amount of time he wasted filling the pen with ink and cleaning up smudges, László Bíró set to work developing a better pen. A Hungarian newspaper editor, he noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly and without smudging, but it was too viscous for use with existing pens. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed the modern ballpoint pen. How long did it take him to build his pen? More...
Quotation of the Day
When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions, if they are so to be called, will be the same.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

Idiom of the Day

have a hankering for (something)

To have a very strong, persistent desire or craving for something. More...
Today's Holiday

Michaelmas (2016)

The Feast of the Archangel Michael, or the Day of St. Michael and All Angels, is a traditional feast day in the Roman Catholic, Anglican Communion, and Orthodox churches. Churches dedicated to Michael can be found in Asia and throughout coastal Europe, usually in places where Michael is reputed to have saved the community from the threat of a monster or giant. The ninth-century abbey Mont St.-Michel, off the coast of Normandy, France, once held the shield said to have been worn by Michael in his fight against the dragon. More...
In the News

Paralyzed California Man Recounts Re-Learning to Walk via Computer

For paraplegic Adam Fritz, the thrill of the computer-assisted first steps he took five years after being paralyzed in a motorcycle crash came only after he was unhooked from the system that enabled him to walk briefly in a bioengineering lab. During ... More...
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