Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 30, 2013)
Word of the Day

hypothecate

Definition:(verb) To believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds.
Synonyms:conjecture, speculate, theorize, suppose
Usage: Dr. Jones was quick to hypothecate that the unexpected chemical reaction was the result of student tampering, even though no one had been seen messing around with his equipment.
Article of the Day

The Lotus Effect

When water hits a lotus leaf, it pools up or rolls right off. This so-called lotus effect is due to a complex system of microscopic bumps on the leaf's waxy surface. These superhydrophobic structures protect the lotus from pathogens like fungi, which are easily swept off its leaves by water droplets. Although the lotus effect has been known in Asia for millennia—and was even noted in ancient Hindu texts—it was only scientifically understood in the early 1970s, thanks to the invention of what? More...
This Day in History

Botswana Gains Independence from Britain (1966)

The 1867 discovery of gold in Botswana excited interest from several European powers. In 1885, the British created the Bechuanaland Protectorate there as a defense against the Boers. Although this spawned no nationalist movement, Britain granted it internal self-government in 1965 and full independence as Botswana the next year. Seretse Khama became its first president. Botswana's economy has developed rapidly since independence. Why is a member of the main tribe of Botswana called a Motswana? More...
Today's Birthday

Jacques Necker (1732)

French financier and statesman Jacques Necker retired in the early 1780s. Returning to Paris in 1787, Necker was soon exiled from the city for engaging in public controversy over financial policy. In 1788, Louis XVI recalled Necker as director-general of finances and minister of state. Supporting reforms, he was acclaimed by the populace. When his enemies at court again secured his dismissal in 1789, the populace stormed the Bastille on July 14. What happened to Necker? More...
Quotation of the Day
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

let (someone) loose (on something)

To allow someone to do something as they please, without supervision or control. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of the Hunters' Moon (2017)

October was traditionally the time when the voyageurs, or traders, came to Fort Ouiatenon (in what is now Lafayette, Indiana) to trade their goods, gossip with the local French settlers, and generally relax and enjoy themselves before setting out on their next journey. The Feast of the Hunter's Moon, which was first held in 1968, begins with the arrival of the voyageurs by canoe on the Wabash River. Events include Indian chants, French folk songs, demonstrations of traditional crafts, and the cooking of typical French and Indian foods over an open fire. More...
In the News

Don't Drink the Holy Water

Holy water may be used to cleanse the soul, but the water itself is often far from clean. A vast majority of the holy springs and fonts tested at Austrian churches and chapels were found to be contaminated with fecal matter, likely the result of poor hygiene. Agricultural nitrates and diarrhea-causing bacteria were also frequently present in samples. To minimize issues of contamination, one priest has invented a holy water dispenser that releases drops of water instead of having the faithful dip their potentially dirty hands into the water. More...
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