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

Inventor Rudolf Diesel Disappears (1913)

A German thermal engineer, Diesel invented the internal-combustion engine that bears his name, producing a series of increasingly successful models that culminated in his demonstration in 1897 of a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical cylinder compression engine. It was an immediate success and earned him a fortune. In 1913, while traveling by steamer to London for a business meeting, Diesel disappeared, presumably having fallen, jumped, or been pushed overboard. Was his body ever found? More...
Today's Birthday

Enrico Fermi (1901)

Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi is known today as the "father of the atomic bomb." Fermi conducted early experiments with neutrons and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics. After receiving the award in Stockholm, Fermi and his family chose not return to Fascist Italy and instead settled in the US. There, he created the first self-sustaining chain reaction in 1942 and later worked on the atomic bomb. What so-called paradox named for Fermi involves extraterrestrial intelligent life? 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)

Today's Holiday

Election of the Lord Mayor of London (2015)

Since 1546, Michaelmas has been the day on which the Lord Mayor of London is elected each year. Two candidates are chosen from among the city aldermen who have already served a term of office as sheriff. The ceremony begins when the current Lord Mayor, two sheriffs, and 26 aldermen walk from the Mansion House to Guildhall. The candidates proceed to the Aldermen's Court, a body of 13 aldermen whose job it is to select the mayor. Once the voting is over, an ornate horse-drawn coach carries the new mayor to the Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's official residence since 1753. 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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