Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, January 03, 2012)
Word of the Day

extenuation

Definition:(noun) To act in such a way as to cause an offense to seem less serious.
Synonyms:mitigation, palliation
Usage: Forgive me, and let the greatness and the purity of my love for you plead in extenuation of my act.
Article of the Day

The Inca Road System

One of the most remarkable examples of Inca engineering was their elaborate network of roads, parts of which survive today. Log, stone, pontoon, and suspension bridges were built to span streams, rivers, and chasms, and shelters and storehouses were spaced a day's travel apart. These were maintained by nearby villages, which also supplied messengers for their sectors. Messages or parcels could thus be carried throughout the empire quite quickly, with runners able to cover what distance in a day? More...
This Day in History

NASA's Mars Polar Lander Launched (1999)

The distance from Earth to Mars fluctuates between approximately 35 million mi (56 million km) and 63 million mi (101 million km). In 1999, NASA's Mars Polar Lander, on a mission to analyze soil samples, made the long journey to the Red Planet only to fail to re-establish communications following its entry into Mars's atmosphere. After the lander was declared lost, an investigation determined that it likely crashed onto the Martian surface. How long did it take the lander to reach Mars? More...
Today's Birthday

Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793)

Mott was an American social reformer and women's rights advocate. She attended a Quaker boarding school near Poughkeepsie, New York, where she later taught, and became an official Quaker minister in 1821. She was active in the antislavery campaign and lectured widely on social reform. In 1848, she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention, which launched the US women's suffrage movement. On what issue was Mott's stance at odds with that of the mainstream women's movement? More...
Quotation of the Day
Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Idiom of the Day

a hill of beans

Something of little or no importance, value, or worth. More...
Today's Holiday

Ball-Catching Festival (2017)

This 500-year-old tradition, said to have its roots in the legend of a dragon god (Ryujin) offering two balls to the Empress Jingu (170-269), takes place each year in Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka City, Japan. Two teams of men wearing only loincloths (fundoshi) compete for a ball that weighs about 18 pounds; these teams consist of the Land Team, made up of farmers who work the fields, and the Sea team, composed of fishermen. A Shinto priest awaits the winner to hand him the ball—the size of the harvest or of the catch during the New Year is determined by which team wins. More...
In the News

Fruit and Vegetable Lovers Gain Weight Too

Fruits and vegetables can improve overall health, but they will not help you keep your youthful figure—unless you recently quit smoking. Researchers followed nearly 374,000 adults for five years and found that, after accounting for overall caloric intake, exercise habits, and education levels, higher fruit and vegetable intake did not reduce the likelihood of weight gain in either men or women. The only exceptions to this were people who quit smoking during the course of the study. Smokers often gain weight when they kick the habit, but having healthier eating habits to begin with, as a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might indicate, could help them avoid this. More...
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