Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, June 8, 2014)
Word of the Day

automaton

Definition:(noun) A mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power.
Synonyms:robot
Usage: The automaton was considered a feat of engineering until it broke down on its second day of operation.
Article of the Day

Buckypaper

Scientists have applied inventor Buckminster Fuller's name not only to the 60-carbon molecule—the "buckyball"—whose arrangement of atoms resembles his geodesic dome, but to various other objects. Buckypaper, for instance, is a thin sheet made of carbon nanotubes—"buckytubes"—that are approximately 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. Buckypaper is one tenth the weight yet potentially 500 times stronger than steel when its sheets are stacked to form a composite. What are its possible uses? More...
This Day in History

Downed US Air Force Pilot Rescued in Bosnia (1995)

On June 2, 1995, US Air Force pilot Scott O'Grady was enforcing a NATO no-fly zone over Bosnia when his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air missile. He ejected and, for the next six days, survived in the wilderness by eating leaves and ants. During that time, he avoided capture by Serb patrols and made contact with US forces. The Marines then mounted a daring rescue and brought him home. The 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines is loosely based on O'Grady's ordeal. Why did he sue the filmmakers? More...
Today's Birthday

Francis Harry Compton Crick (1916)

While working in a research lab at Cambridge after WWII, Crick helped discover the molecular structure of DNA. It was one of the most important scientific findings of the century, and he shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. He also clarified how cells use DNA to build proteins. During WWII, he was deflected from his original course of research after a bomb hit his lab. Crick later said he had been studying "the dullest problem imaginable" at the time. What was it? More...
Quotation of the Day
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

have a yen for (something)

To have a very strong and persistent desire or craving for something. More...
Today's Holiday

International Carillon Festival (2017)

The International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois, attracts carillonneurs from France, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, and the Netherlands as well as from the United States. The centerpiece of the festival is the Rees Memorial Carillon. The festival, instituted in 1962, features the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Edvard Grieg, and other compositions arranged for the carillon. The performances take place in Springfield's Washington Park, where listeners can sit the recommended 300 or more feet away. More...
In the News

Sleep Promotes Learning through Synapse Formation

Sleep has long been known to play a vital role in the learning process, but the precise science behind it was not fully understood. Using advanced microscopy, researchers were able to observe the formation of new synapses, or connections between nerve cells, in the brain and found that sleep-deprived subjects form fewer new connections than those allowed to sleep properly. Even intense, extended training on a task cannot make up for sleep deprivation. The findings suggest that sleep promotes the formation of new synaptic connections, thereby contributing to learning and memory formation. More...
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