Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 07, 2013)
Word of the Day

linchpin

Definition:(noun) A central cohesive source of support and stability.
Synonyms:backbone, keystone, mainstay, anchor
Usage: Reduced spending is the linchpin of their economic program.
Article of the Day

Braconidae

Humans fear wasps for their sting, but some insects, like caterpillars, have a different reason to be wary: they are little more than prey to the more than 50,000 species of parasitoid wasp in the family Braconidae. Most braconids kill their hosts with viruses that suppress the immune system and allow the wasp's eggs to grow inside a host undetected. These polydnaviruses are actually produced by the wasps using viral genes that were integrated into their DNA how many million years ago? More...
This Day in History

Theatre Royal Opens at Covent Garden in London, England (1732)

The original Covent Garden playhouse, called the Theatre Royal, was built in 1732 and hosted performances of plays, pantomimes, and opera. Twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt, the theater that stands today is the third built on the site. The Royal Ballet began performing there in 1946. The Royal Opera House reopened in 1999 after an 18-month renovation. It seats 2,268 people and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies. What actor financed the construction of the original theater in 1732? More...
Today's Birthday

Larry Bird (1956)

Bird was an American basketball player. After spending most of his collegiate career at Indiana State University, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1978 and became a perennial all-star. He led the Celtics to three championships and was named the league's most valuable player as many times. He retired after winning gold with the 1992 US Olympic "Dream Team." What future rival did Bird face in a college basketball championship game and then again in three professional championship series? More...
Quotation of the Day
An aching head soon makes one forget an aching heart.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

have (one's) head read

To have one's logic or sanity examined or reevaluated, usually regarding some ridiculous decision, plan, or idea. A reference to a pyschiatric evaluation, the phrase is usually used prescriptively. More...
Today's Holiday

Chaomos (2016)

Chaomos is the winter festival of the Kalasha people, who live in valleys in the northwestern corner of Pakistan, about 20 miles north of Chitral. The festival honors Balomain, a demigod said to have once lived among the Kalasha. The celebration begins with the purification of women and girls. A man waves burning juniper over the head of each woman, murmuring, "Sooch" ("Be pure"). On the following day, the men and boys are purified. The celebration continues with singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires, and festive eating of special bread and goat tripe. More...
In the News

Microsoft Gives Technical Support a Whole New Meaning

Researchers at Microsoft have developed an unusual device to help women maintain their waistlines: a "smart" bra. The prototype has embedded sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to track the wearer's mood and could send an alert to a smartphone when they detect a risk of emotional eating. Microsoft claims it has no plans to market the weight-management device commercially. Rather, it says, the project was part of a greater effort to develop technologies that can detect and react appropriately to people's moods. More...
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