Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, August 11, 2013)
Word of the Day

stopgap

Definition:(noun) An improvised substitute for something lacking; a temporary expedient.
Synonyms:make-do, makeshift
Usage: This is not an acceptable long term solution, just a stopgap.
Article of the Day

Whale Falls

Whale carcasses that have sunk to the sea floor are known in the scientific community as whale falls. Around them spring up complex localized ecosystems, which feed off the rich sustenance they provide for decades. The phenomenon was accidentally discovered in 1987 by a team of University of Hawaii oceanographers, who were exploring the ocean depths with a robotic submersible. Many previously unknown species have since been discovered at whale falls. Which organisms thrive in this environment? More...
This Day in History

Mayan Long Count Calendar Begins (3114 BCE)

The Long Count is one of the various ancient Mayan calendars that maintained complicated, cyclical measurements of time. It was intended to provide an accurate record of historical events and counts the days elapsed from a fixed starting point—calculated as August 11, 3114 BCE, the date of creation according to the Maya. Some believe that the calendar predicts the world's end on December 21, 2012, but scholars have widely rejected this claim. What was the significance of that date to the Maya? More...
Today's Birthday

Alex Haley (1921)

A descendent of African slaves, Haley began writing during a 20-year US Coast Guard career. He became a journalist, and earned national attention for The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His biggest success was 1976's Roots, a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of his ancestors beginning with their enslavement. A television adaptation became one of the most-watched programs in America, spurring interest in genealogy. Why then was the work excluded from a prominent anthology of literature? More...
Quotation of the Day
November, n.: The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

knick-knack

Any miscellaneous trinket or toy, especially one that is delicate or dainty. More...
Today's Holiday

Omak Stampede and Suicide Race (2017)

The Omak Stampede and Suicide Race includes three days of professional rodeo in Omak, Washington. What makes this different from other rodeos is the World Famous Suicide Race, a terrifying hoof-thundering gallop by 15-20 mounted horses down an almost vertical hill, across the Okanogan River, and then into the rodeo arena. The rodeos top off a week of activities that include Indian ceremonies and dances, a western art show, and a grand parade. Animal rights activists have protested the race because of the extreme danger to the horses. More...
In the News

Night Owls Become Morning People When Camping

Before the advent of electric lighting, people for the most part rose and went to sleep according to the Sun. Nowadays, people stay up till all hours. Exposure to artificial lighting and limited exposure to natural sunlight appear to throw off our natural circadian rhythms and affect melatonin levels. This, in turn, affects our alertness. For those who wish to reset their internal clock, all it takes, apparently, is a week of camping. If you are unable to take a week out of your life to commune with nature, small lifestyle changes like walking outdoors in the mornings and dimming lights and electronic devices at night could help get your circadian rhythm back on track. More...
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