Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, December 17, 2013)
Word of the Day

pooh-bah

Definition:(noun) An arrogant or conceited person of importance.
Synonyms:high-muck-a-muck
Usage: The self-appointed pooh-bah of our little society, Shirley oversees every one of our projects and, naturally, nothing ever gets done.
Article of the Day

The Ambulocetus

Though similar to crocodiles in appearance and behavior, Ambulocetus was actually an early cetacean—a member of the mammalian order that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. However, unlike today's cetaceans, Ambulocetus had legs and so could walk as well as swim. These and other key adaptations of the "walking whale" have helped scientists piece together the way in which whales evolved from land mammals. Ambulocetus lived 50 million years ago in what part of the world? More...
This Day in History

The Wright Brothers Make Their Famous Flight (1903)

Both excellent mechanics, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright built and repaired bicycles before turning their attention to flying machines. They spent years designing and testing gliders and also built a powerful four-cylinder engine and an efficient propeller. In 1903, after several failed attempts, the brothers succeeded in making the first controlled, sustained flights in a power-driven airplane. How long did the first, history-making flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, last? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Humphry Davy (1778)

Davy was an English chemist and one of the greatest exponents of the scientific method. His discovery of the anesthetic effect of nitrous oxide was a major contribution to surgery. He did early research on voltaic cells and batteries, tanning, electrolysis, and mineral analysis, and was the first to systematically apply chemical principles to farming. His research on mine explosions and his invention of the safety lamp brought him great prestige. Davy also proved that diamond is a form of what? More...
Quotation of the Day
All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions ... I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

have a part in (something)

To be involved in some capacity with establishing, maintaining, or running something. More...
Today's Holiday

Wright Brothers Day (2016)

It was on the morning of December 17, 1903, that Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first men to fly and control a powered heavier-than-air machine. Events on December 17 traditionally include a "flyover" by military aircraft and a special ceremony held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, a 425-acre area that features a 60-foot granite pylon on top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers' camp was located. The flyover takes place at precisely 10:35 AM, the time of the original flight in 1903. More...
In the News

Freshwater Reserves Discovered Beneath Seabed

Concerns about the future of Earth's water supply have been growing in recent years. More than 40 percent of the people on Earth already live in conditions of water scarcity, and the UN estimates that by 2030, nearly half of the world's population will live under high water stress. Still, the numbers have failed to curb consumption, which in the past century has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population. Researchers say we may breathe a little easier though, as they have discovered vast freshwater reserves—an estimated 120,000 cubic miles (500,000 cubic kilometers) of low-salinity water—beneath the ocean floor. More...
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