Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 11, 2015)
Word of the Day

atrophy

Definition:(verb) To waste away; wither or deteriorate.
Synonyms:shrivel, weaken
Usage: She had not painted in many years, and she was worried that her creativity had atrophied.
Article of the Day

Cotton Candy

This kid-pleasing treat is often sold at fairs, circus shows, and other jovial events. It is usually tinted pink, though purple and blue are also popular colors. It is made by machines with a central bowl where sugar is melted and spun out through a myriad of tiny holes where it solidifies and is caught by a ring. The operator then catches the candy on a stick, forming a confection that is often larger than the human head. In what country is cotton candy known as "fairy floss"? More...
This Day in History

Mikhail Gorbachev Becomes Leader of the Soviet Union (1985)

In 1985, after the death of the third Soviet leader in two years, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, ushering in an era of political reform with his policies of glasnost and perestroika. He cultivated warmer relations with the US and others and even supported the democratically elected governments that replaced the communist regimes of eastern Europe. In 1991, he resigned the presidency of the USSR, which ceased to exist the same day. How did his own policies lead to the end of his administration? More...
Today's Birthday

Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (1915)

In the 1950s, Licklider—who had studied math and physics and had a doctorate in psychology—began studying information technology. He was appointed head of information processing at ARPA, the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, in the early 60s. There, he laid the groundwork for computer networking and ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet. He is considered one of the most important figures in computing history and is often compared to what historical trailblazer? More...
Quotation of the Day
My only objection to the custom of giving books as Christmas presents is perhaps the selfish one that it encourages and keeps in the game a number of writers who would be far better employed if they abandoned the pen and took to work.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Idiom of the Day

housewarming (party)

A party thrown to celebrate when someone moves into a new apartment, flat, or house. More...
Today's Holiday

Purim (2017)

Six hundred years before the Christian era, most Jews were slaves in Persia. The Persian prime minister Haman persuaded King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) to let him destroy the empire's entire Jewish population. The king did not realize that his own wife, Esther, was Jewish until she pleaded with him to spare her people. The Book of Esther is read aloud in synagogues on the eve and morning of Purim, and listeners drown out every mention of Haman's name by jeering and stamping their feet. Purim is also a time for sharing food with friends and for charity to the poor. More...
In the News

The Secret to How Chameleons Change Colors

If a chameleon's striking ability to change colors seems like a magic act of smoke and mirrors, that's because its skin is quite literally made up of special mirrors, scientists have discovered. The panther chameleon has tiny crystals under its skin called ... More...
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