Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, September 07, 2012)
Word of the Day

espial

Definition:(noun) The act of detecting something; catching sight of something.
Synonyms:catching, detection, spotting, spying
Usage: Laure refused to condescend to an act of espial which no curiosity could justify, and she consequently became the object of much reprobation.
Article of the Day

Green Roofs

Green roofs are rooftops that are covered with vegetation. Though more expensive than conventional roofs, green roofs can reduce heating and cooling costs, and they can also filter pollution from air and rainwater. A concentration of green roofs in a city can even decrease the overall temperature of the surrounding area in the summer. Notable buildings with green roofs include Chicago City Hall and Rolls-Royce’s headquarters in England. In what region have green roofs been in use for centuries? More...
This Day in History

First Miss America Pageant Held in Atlantic City, New Jersey (1921)

The Miss America Pageant, now an American institution, began in 1921 as an attempt by Atlantic City businessmen to keep tourists in town after Labor Day. The weeklong event features the 50 state pageant winners and includes evening gown, swimsuit, and talent competitions. Its winner receives a $50,000 scholarship and spends the next year traveling and making lucrative personal appearances. What unusual skills have contestants demonstrated in the talent competition over the years? More...
Today's Birthday

Laura Ashley (1925)

Ashley was a British fashion designer and manufacturer. After serving in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II, she founded a company with her husband to produce silkscreened placemats, scarves, and tea towels. Her romantic and old-fashioned look carried over into women's clothing, home furnishings, children's wear, fabrics, wall coverings, and decorative accessories. What inspired Ashley to start printing Victorian-style fabric in 1953? More...
Quotation of the Day
Amnesty, n.: The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

pull a U-ie

To make a U-turn. Primarily heard in US, Australia. More...
Today's Holiday

Brazil Independence Day

A declaration of independence was made by Pedro di Alcântara (1798-1834) on this day in 1822. Brazil had been a colony of Portugal since the 16th century. Alcântara, better known as Pedro I, became the first emperor of Brazil in 1823 and ruled until 1831. Independence Day is a public holiday in Brazil, and there are celebrations in Brasília, the capital, with parades of military personnel and floats decorated with flowers. More...
In the News

Scrub Jays Hold "Funerals" for Dead Birds

Scientists studying the behavior of western scrub jays have observed the birds seemingly marking the death of fellow birds with so-called funeral congregations. The researchers tested the birds' reactions to different objects by placing colored pieces of wood, stuffed jays, and dead jays in residential yards. When the birds encountered a dead jay, they made warnings calls to jays long distances away. The birds would then stop foraging and gather around the dead bird while making calls to encourage other jays to attend. When the presence of a predator was simulated by placing a stuffed great horned owl nearby, the jays also made a series of alarm calls. More...
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