Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, November 26, 2015)
Word of the Day

phloem

Definition:(noun) The food-conducting tissue of vascular plants, consisting of sieve tubes, fibers, parenchyma, and sclereids.
Synonyms:bast
Usage: "Girdling" a tree, or cutting through its phloem tubes, results in the starvation of the roots and, ultimately, the death of the tree.
Article of the Day

Bookbinding

The craft of bookbinding began simply, with the use of boards to protect parchment manuscripts. By the 2nd century, sheets of parchment were being folded and sewn together. During the Middle Ages, the practice of making fine bindings for these sewn volumes rose to great heights; books were rare and precious articles, and many were treated with exquisite gilded and jeweled bindings. What is the uncommon practice of binding books in human skin, a technique dating back to the 17th century, called? More...
This Day in History

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Opens in Wales (1805)

It took 10 years to build the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which towers over the River Dee valley in Wrexham, Wales. A feat of civil engineering, it is still in use more than two centuries later, allowing boats to cross the Llangollen Canal about 120 feet (35 m) above the valley. The aqueduct consists of a narrow cast iron trough supported by stone columns and bordered by a railed path that was built so horses could tow canal boats. The span occasionally closes for maintenance. How is it emptied? More...
Today's Birthday

Saint Katharine Drexel (1858)

The niece of a wealthy Philadelphia banker, Drexel inherited a vast fortune and used it to address racial injustice and educational inequality in the US. She established mission schools across the American West and founded Xavier University, the only historically black, Catholic university in the US. In 1891, after becoming a Roman Catholic nun, she founded a society of nuns to aid Native Americans and African Americans. The second US-born saint, Drexel is known as the patron saint of what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

keep schtum

To remain silent; to not say anything. (Used especially when by saying something, especially at the wrong time, one would cause trouble or difficulty for him- or herself.) Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Umoja Karamu (2017)

The African-American holiday of Umoja Karamu, which means "unity feast" in Kiswahili, celebrates family members' commitment to one another. Five periods of African-American life, each symbolized by a color, provide the framework for the ceremony: 1) the family in Africa, before slavery in America (black); 2) the enslaved family in America (white); 3) the family freed from slavery (red); 4) the family struggling for true liberation (green); 5) the family anticipating the future (orange or gold). Narratives, music, and foods relating to each period are part of the ceremony. More...
In the News

Where Thanksgiving Calories Hide -- and How to Burn Them Off

When you sit down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the cards will be stacked against your diet. Those favorite dishes are just so high in calories -- hello, stuffing and sweet potato casserole! -- and there are just so many of them, it can seem ... More...
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