Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, October 13, 2013)
Word of the Day

otiose

Definition:(adjective) Serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being.
Synonyms:superfluous, wasted, pointless, senseless
Usage: More than half of his acceptance speech was otiose nonsense, and the rest was just a rehash of his campaign promises.
Article of the Day

Raëlism

Raëlism is a cult religion founded in the 1970s by French journalist and race car driver Claude Vorilhon, now known as Raël. Raëlism teaches that life on Earth was created by a species of extraterrestrials called the Elohim. Raëlians discourage the use of recreational drugs, coffee, and alcohol, but have liberal views of sexuality, accepting homosexuality and encouraging members to explore their desires. They also support cloning and claimed in 2002 to have cloned a human named what? More...
This Day in History

Cornerstone of the White House Is Laid in Washington, DC (1792)

Originally called the "President's Palace," the residence of the president of the United States was designed by Irish-American architect James Hoban with guidance from President George Washington, whose term ended before he was able to move in. Slaves and free African-American workers performed much of the construction. Today, the White House is the oldest public building in Washington. Very little of the original structure survived an 1814 fire, set by British troops in retaliation for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862)

Kingsley was an English explorer and writer who challenged and influenced European ideas about Africa. Following the deaths of her parents, Kingsley travelled to West Africa to complete her father's unfinished book. There, she studied local customs and explored uncharted territory. Returning to her native England, she criticized missionary efforts and defended traditional African culture—including aspects such as polygamy. Another female explorer introduced her to what murderous tribal custom? More...
Quotation of the Day
You and I, dear reader, are each the center of the universe in our respective opinions. You, as I understand it, were brought into being by a considerate Providence in order that you might read and pay me for what I write; while I, in your opinion, am an article sent into the world to write something for you to read.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

like attracts like

People tend to seek out or be attracted to those that are similar or like-minded. More...
Today's Holiday

Carberry Day (2017)

The students and faculty at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, celebrate the fictitious academic exploits of Professor Josiah Stinkney Carberry every Friday the 13th. On Carberry Day, small brown jugs appear around campus, and students and teachers fill them with change. The money goes to a book fund that Professor Carberry has set up "in memory of my future late wife, Laura." More...
In the News

Elephants Get the Point of Human Gestures

A simple experiment involving an elephant, a gesturing scientist, two buckets, and a single treat has shown that the intelligent pachyderms appear to have an instinctive understanding of human pointing. The experiment involved placing the two buckets, only one of which contained a treat, in front of an elephant and then having the animal choose which bucket to reach for while a person pointed to the one containing the hidden snack. Researchers hoped to teach the elephants how to interpret the gesture and were surprised to find that the creatures seemed to understand it from the outset. The next step is to investigate whether elephants use gestures in their own communication. More...
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