Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 12, 2013)
Word of the Day

prodigality

Definition:(noun) The trait of spending extravagantly.
Synonyms:profligacy, extravagance
Usage: She spent her first half-year's dividend from the Venice Hotel Company, with characteristic prodigality, in presents for the children.
Article of the Day

Boston's Big Dig

The tangled roadways of Boston, Massachusetts, laid out before the age of the automobile, became a traffic nightmare after cars arrived. The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, nicknamed the "Big Dig," sought to fix the problem by rerouting the city's chief highway into a tunnel and building additional tunnels and bridges. Though conceived in the 1970s, the Big Dig was not completed until 2007, thanks to skyrocketing costs and constant setbacks. What challenges arose during course of the project? More...
This Day in History

Isaac Singer Granted Patent for Sewing Machine (1851)

Before the advent of the sewing machine, sewing was a laborious task. Singer's 1851 sewing machine patent made him a very rich man. Several other people laid claim to having invented the sewing machine, notably Elias Howe, who won a lawsuit against Singer for infringement. Nevertheless, Singer's company was already well established and was able to pool its patents with other claimants to avoid litigation. At times, Singer used alternate names to accomplish what scandalous feat? More...
Today's Birthday

Ross and Norris McWhirter (1925)

In 1954, a few years after identical twins Norris and Ross McWhirter founded a London fact-finding agency, they met a director of the Guinness brewing company, Sir Hugh Beaver, who commissioned a compilation of world records that was intended to settle bar-room disputes. The first edition of the McWhirters' Guinness Book of Records was given to bars for free as a marketing gimmick, but the book quickly became a phenomenal success. In 1975, Ross was assassinated. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

a knife in the back

A grievous or supreme act of treachery or betrayal. (Usually preceding "of/for (someone).") More...
Today's Holiday

Hope Watermelon Festival (2017)

Best known as the birthplace of U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hope, Arkansas, is also "Home of the World's Largest Watermelons" and hosts the only watermelon festival featuring giant watermelons. They are indeed large. Hope watermelon growers have been competing to grow the biggest since the 1920s. This is a festival of real down-home Americana: ice cream socials, a big fish fry, softball, arts and crafts booths, musical entertainment, antique car shows and hot air balloon rides. The watermelon events include a melon-eating contest, a seed-spitting contest and a melon-judging and auction. More...
In the News

Malaria Vaccine Appears Promising

Malaria kills one child in Africa every minute, but promising results from early-stage clinical trials of a new vaccine are raising hopes that an effective malaria prevention method is on the horizon. When given in high doses, the injection of live, radiation-weakened, malaria-causing parasites was able to prevent infection in 12 out of 15 patients. Further studies are needed to see if even higher doses are more effective and to determine how long the vaccine's protective effects last. Researchers also face the challenge of developing a more practical delivery method, as the vaccine must currently be given intravenously. Most vaccines are given orally or by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. More...
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