Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, February 4, 2011)
Word of the Day

cavort

Definition:(verb) Play boisterously.
Synonyms:frisk, frolic, gambol, lark, rollick, romp, run around, skylark, sport, disport
Usage: The children cavorted in the water, splashing and ducking each other.
Article of the Day

Entropy

In popular, nontechnical use, entropy is regarded as a measure of the chaos or randomness of a system. In thermodynamics, it is the measure of a system's energy that is unavailable for work or of the degree of a system's disorder. Entropy increases during irreversible processes, such as the spontaneous mixing of hot and cold gases. The concept, first proposed in 1850 by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, is sometimes presented as the second law of thermodynamics, which states what? More...
This Day in History

The "Flying Tailor" Dies after Failed Parachute Jump from Eiffel Tower (1912)

Parachutes at the dawn of the aviation age were bulky and, inconveniently, had to be pre-opened. Among those trying to improve upon their design was French tailor Franz Reichelt. He had some success testing his designs on dummies, but he had no evidence that his parachute would work with a real person when he jumped from the Eiffel Tower before a crowd of spectators and reporters. The chute failed to open, and he plummeted to his death. How had he convinced the authorities to allow the jump? More...
Today's Birthday

Charles Lindbergh (1902)

In 1927, Lindbergh, an American aviator, made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic in 33.5 hours, landing in Paris to a hero's welcome. He returned to the US a celebrity but moved to England in 1932 to escape the media frenzy surrounding the kidnapping and murder of his son. Returning to the US in 1940, he faced criticism for opposing US entry into WWII. Still, he flew combat missions for the US during the war. He helped invent what device that made open-heart surgery possible? More...
Quotation of the Day
Towns are excrescences, gray fluxions, where men, hurrying to find one another, have lost themselves.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

be a roaring success

To be extremely or triumphantly successful. More...
Today's Holiday

Ice Worm Festival (2017)

This zany mid-winter festival celebrates the emergence of the ice worm in Cordova, Alaska. The highlight of the three-day festival is the procession of a 150-foot-long ice worm followed by 500 or so paraders. Other events include variety shows, ski events, a survival-suit race, a beauty pageant, music, and dances. The celebration began in 1961, and the legend was born then that an ice worm hibernates during the winter in the Cordova Glacier but starts to hatch or wake up in early February. The worm has gained international fame, and the festival draws great crowds of people. More...
In the News

Dog Sniffs Out Colon Cancer

Researchers have trained a Labrador retriever to sniff out colon cancer in breath and stool samples. When presented with five stool samples, one cancerous and four non-cancerous, the dog was able to pick out the cancerous one 37 out of 38 times. She was just slightly less successful with the breath tests, finding 33 out of 36 cancers. It has been suggested in the past that dogs can detect certain types of cancers, and while it may not be practical to use dogs to diagnose patients, researchers are working on developing an "electronic dog's nose" that can detect the cancer-specific volatile organic compounds that dogs smell. More...
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