Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 1, 2011)
Word of the Day

divest

Definition:(verb) Remove (someone's or one's own) clothes.
Synonyms:undress, disinvest, strip
Usage: Frowning with vexation at the effort necessary to divest himself of his coat and trousers, the prince undressed.
Article of the Day

The Iron Pillar

The approximately 24-foot- (7-meter-) tall, 6-ton iron pillar located in the famous Qutb Minar complex of Delhi, India, is one of the world's foremost metallurgical curiosities. A testament to the advanced skill of ancient Indian ironsmiths, it is the last remaining part of a Hindu temple erected by 5th-century ruler Chandra Gupta II. Although it is about 1,600 years old, the pillar has never corroded. What theories have scientists advanced to explain the pillar's resistance to corrosion? More...
This Day in History

The Swiss Confederation Is Formed (1291)

Despite its ethnic and religious diversity, Switzerland has maintained one of the world's oldest democracies for more than 700 years. Concerned about the encroaching Habsburg Empire, the three mountain communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden formed a defensive league in 1291, laying the foundations of the Swiss Confederation. Today, Switzerland is well known for its neutrality and reluctance to join the European Union. In 2002, it became one of the last nations to do what? More...
Today's Birthday

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (10 BCE)

The nephew of Tiberius, Claudius became the Roman emperor unexpectedly, after Caligula was murdered. Sickly, unattractive, and scholarly, he tended to disfavor the upper classes and cater to the freedmen. He expanded the frontiers, invading Britain in 43 CE. He spent lavishly on public works and extended Roman citizenship throughout the empire. Having executed his scheming third wife, he married his niece, who then likely poisoned him. What modern diagnoses might explain his lifelong ill health? More...
Quotation of the Day
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

receive (one's) just deserts

To receive that which one deserves, especially a punishment or unfavorable outcome. (Note: The phrase is often misspelled as "just desserts," due to the pronunciation of "deserts" and "desserts" being the same in this context.) More...
Today's Holiday

Trinidad and Tobago Emancipation Day (2017)

Since 1985, August 1 has been celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago as Emancipation Day, rather than Columbus Discovery Day, as in former years. Slavery was abolished in 1833 throughout the British Empire, and eventually slaves in the colony of Trinidad and Tobago were freed. The day begins with an all-night vigil and includes religious services, cultural events, processions past historic landmarks, addresses by dignitaries, and an evening of shows with a torchlight procession to the National Stadium. More...
In the News

Antibody Discovery May Lead to Universal Flu Vaccine

Currently, flu shot formulations must be adjusted each year to protect against the strains of the virus circulating that flu season, but scientists are now one step closer to developing a universal flu vaccine. They have discovered an antibody, called FI6, that can fight all known subtypes of the influenza A virus, which is responsible for most human flu cases. It works by targeting a protein, hemagglutinin, found on the surface of all influenza A viruses. When mice were given the antibody, it fully protected them from later lethal doses of the H1N1 virus. It also helped those previously given a lethal dose of the virus to recover. More...
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