Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, May 22, 2011)
Word of the Day

debonair

Definition:(adjective) Having a sophisticated charm.
Synonyms:suave
Usage: Like other girls she had her dreams of a possible Prince Charming, young and handsome and debonair.
Article of the Day

Prayer Wheels

A prayer wheel is a mechanical device used by Tibetan Buddhists as an equivalent to the recitation of a mantra. It consists of a rod upon which is mounted a hollow metal cylinder inscribed with or containing a prayer. Each turn of the wheel is considered equivalent to orally reciting the prayer. Variants to the handheld prayer wheel are large cylinders that can be moved by hand or kept in continuous motion by windmills or waterwheels. What is an Internet-operated prayer wheel? More...
This Day in History

Farmer Discovers Howe Caverns (1842)

Howe Caverns is a cave system in east-central New York that lies 156 ft (48 m) below ground. It was discovered in 1842, when farmer Lester Howe began to wonder why his cows all seemed to gather near one particular hill on hot summer days. Upon investigating, he felt a cool breeze blowing from a hole in the hill. He and a neighbor began to dig out the hole and uncovered the entrance to a cave. They explored it extensively and opened it for tours the next year. Why are there boats in the cave? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859)

Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer noted for his tales about fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally a doctor, Conan Doyle studied under the sharp-eyed Dr. Joseph Bell, who was noted for his ability to draw accurate conclusions about people through observation. Bell was thus the model for Holmes, who appeared for the first time in 1887. Conan Doyle "killed off" Holmes in 1893 but was forced by public demand to resurrect him. What famous unsolved hoax might the author have perpetrated? More...
Quotation of the Day
Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

keep (up) (one's) end of the bargain

To do as was promised in an agreement or bargain; to carry through with what one agreed to do. Also worded as "keep one's end of the bargain up." More...
Today's Holiday

International Day for Biological Diversity (2017)

In 1994 the United Nations declared December 29 International Day for Biological Diversity. In the year 2000 they changed the date to May 22 in order to draw more attention to the observance. They also wished to honor the May 22, 2000, signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity. More...
In the News

Debate over Destruction of Last Smallpox Samples

In 1979, the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox officially eradicated. Thereafter, nearly all known stocks of the virus were destroyed and the few remaining samples were sent to two labs, one in the US and one in Russia, where they remain today. While many countries want these last virus stocks destroyed, the two countries that possess the samples have submitted a proposal to the WHO requesting that the destruction be put off for at least five more years. They say they need more time to research the virus and develop safer vaccines in case hidden stocks of it are ever used as a biological weapon. More...
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