Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 13, 2017)
Word of the Day

reek

Definition:(verb) To be pervaded by something unpleasant.
Synonyms:smack, smell
Usage: His speeches reek of sarcasm.
Article of the Day

Taphephobia

Taphephobia is the psychopathological fear of being buried alive. Before the advent of modern medicine, this fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history, there have been many cases of people being accidentally buried alive, and the horrific prospect has been a favorite subject of urban legends and literature, including several stories by Edgar Allan Poe. During the 18th and 19th centuries, such fears led to a large number of designs for "safety coffins," which employed what safeguards? More...
This Day in History

Chinese River Dolphin Declared Functionally Extinct (2006)

Found only in China's Yangtze River, the baiji was a pale, nearly blind freshwater dolphin species nicknamed the "Goddess of the Yangtze." Though it had lived there for millennia, its population declined precipitously in the late 20th century as an industrialized China made heavy use of the river. Many were injured by fishing gear and boat propellers. The species was finally declared functionally extinct after a six-week search failed to locate any baiji. When was the last baiji caught on film? More...
Today's Birthday

Ella Baker (1903)

Though Baker was not as well known as some of the other leaders of the US civil rights movement, she spent more than 50 years as a behind-the-scenes activist. Baker grew up in rural North Carolina listening to her grandmother's stories about slavery. After college, she moved to New York City and became involved in social justice activism. She worked with student groups, political organizations, and religious coalitions to facilitate collective action. What prompted her to protest against Italy? More...
Quotation of the Day
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

on the leading edge

Having or knowledgeable of the most advanced technology in a given area, activity, or endeavor. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Lucy's Day (2017)

According to tradition, St. Lucy, or Santa Lucia, was born in Syracuse, Sicily, in the third or fourth century. Her day is widely celebrated in Sweden as Luciadagen, which marks the official beginning of the Christmas season. It is traditional to observe Luciadagen by dressing the oldest daughter in the family in a white robe tied with a crimson sash. Candles are set into her crown, which is covered with lingonberry leaves. The "Lucia Bride" wakens each member of the household on the morning of December 13 with a tray of coffee and special saffron buns or ginger cookies. More...
In the News

Narwhal escape: Whales freeze and flee when frightened

Scientists who fitted heart rate-monitoring tags to Arctic narwhals have discovered a strange paradox in how the animals respond to threats. When these tusked whales are frightened, their hearts slow, but at the same time they swim quickly to escape ... More...
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