Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 30, 2013)
Word of the Day

hypothecate

Definition:(verb) To believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds.
Synonyms:conjecture, speculate, theorize, suppose
Usage: Dr. Jones was quick to hypothecate that the unexpected chemical reaction was the result of student tampering, even though no one had been seen messing around with his equipment.
Article of the Day

The Lotus Effect

When water hits a lotus leaf, it pools up or rolls right off. This so-called lotus effect is due to a complex system of microscopic bumps on the leaf's waxy surface. These superhydrophobic structures protect the lotus from pathogens like fungi, which are easily swept off its leaves by water droplets. Although the lotus effect has been known in Asia for millennia—and was even noted in ancient Hindu texts—it was only scientifically understood in the early 1970s, thanks to the invention of what? More...
This Day in History

Mozart's The Magic Flute Premieres (1791)

In the final year of his life, prolific composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced the opera Die ZauberflöteThe Magic Flute—featuring a libretto by the actor Emmanuel Schikaneder. The work is considered a singspiel—an opera in German that contains spoken dialogue and is usually comic in tone. Mozart brought this form of light musical entertainment to a height of lyrical and symbolic art. How much longer did Mozart live after The Magic Flute debuted? More...
Today's Birthday

Hans Geiger (1882)

After receiving a doctorate in physics in Germany in 1906, Geiger traveled to England, where he assisted chemist Ernest Rutherford. In 1908, they designed an instrument to detect and count alpha particles, positively charged ionizing particles produced by radioactive decay. He then returned to Germany, directing radiation research at several universities. Two decades later, Geiger developed the sensitive, portable radiation counter that now bears his name. Geiger was a member of what "club"? More...
Quotation of the Day
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

Are you having a laugh?

An exclamation of disbelief or incredulity, like "Are you being serious?" or "Are you kidding me?" Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

San Geronimo Feast Day (2016)

San Geronimo Feast Day is the feast day for St. Jerome, the patron saint of Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. For 1,000 years, the Tiwa-speaking Taos Indians have lived at or near the present pueblo, and it is still the home of about 1,500 residents. The celebration commences on the evening of Sept. 29 with a sundown dance, followed by vespers in the San Geronimo Mission. On the following day, there are foot races in the morning, and, in the afternoon, "clowns" with black-and-white body paint climb a pole, an act that has secret religious significance to the Taos. More...
In the News

Don't Drink the Holy Water

Holy water may be used to cleanse the soul, but the water itself is often far from clean. A vast majority of the holy springs and fonts tested at Austrian churches and chapels were found to be contaminated with fecal matter, likely the result of poor hygiene. Agricultural nitrates and diarrhea-causing bacteria were also frequently present in samples. To minimize issues of contamination, one priest has invented a holy water dispenser that releases drops of water instead of having the faithful dip their potentially dirty hands into the water. More...
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