Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, December 7, 2017)
Word of the Day

gustation

Definition:(noun) The faculty of distinguishing sweet, sour, bitter, and salty properties in the mouth.
Synonyms:taste
Usage: Her cold had muted all sense of gustation, and she had no appetite for food.
Article of the Day

Netsuke

Netsuke are tiny carved figurines used to secure the cord of a purse or container to the sash of a kimono. Carved by Japanese artists from materials such as ivory and wood, netsuke reflect many aspects of Japan's culture, with some representing simple objects and others depicting entire scenes from history and folklore. First invented in the 17th century, the practical yet artistic items are still produced today. Why did the Japanese need to attach containers to their robes in the first place? More...
This Day in History

Mary Toft Admits That She Did Not Really Give Birth to Rabbits (1726)

Toft, an English servant, had a bizarre 15 minutes of fame in 1726 when she convinced doctors that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits. At age 25, Toft suffered a miscarriage. About a month later, she appeared to go into labor and proceeded over the next few weeks to "birth" several animal parts along with nine baby bunnies. The episode was attributed to a fascination with rabbits that Toft had developed during her pregnancy—until it was revealed to be a hoax. How had she pulled it off? More...
Today's Birthday

Gerard Peter Kuiper (1905)

The "father of modern planetary science," Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper made many discoveries about the solar system, among them the presence of a methane atmosphere around Saturn's satellite Titan and a carbon dioxide-rich one on Mars and the existence of Uranus's satellite Miranda and Neptune's satellite Nereid. He also proposed the existence of a disk-shaped region of minor planets and comets—now called the Kuiper belt—outside Neptune's orbit. What did he help identify on the Moon? More...
Quotation of the Day
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Today's Holiday

Timor-Leste National Heroes Day (Anniversary of the Indonesian Invasion) (2018)

In Timor Leste, the invasion of Indonesian forces on December 7, 1975, initiated a period of occupation in which about 200,000 Timorese were killed. Today, this anniversary remains an occasion to mourn those who were killed and to seek redress for crimes committed during the occupation. Beginning in 1976, the Timorese established a tradition of gathering in the capital, Dili, to commemorate the anniversary of the invasion and stage a public protest over Indonesia's actions. Candlelight vigils and commemorative church services also became common throughout the country. More...
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