Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 28, 2011)
Word of the Day

sidestep

Definition:(verb) Avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues).
Synonyms:evade, hedge, skirt, parry, fudge, circumvent, dodge, elude, duck, put off
Usage: The candidate tried to sidestep the issue during the debate, but eventually he had to make his position clear.
Article of the Day

The Bone-Eating Snot Flower

Osedax is a genus of polychaete—sea worm—that feeds on the bones of whale carcasses. Possessing neither stomachs nor mouths, members of the Osedax genus rely on symbiotic species of bacteria to digest whale fat and oils and to release nutrients that they can absorb through unusual root-like structures. One species is known as the "bone-eating snot flower" after its scientific name, Osedax mucofloris. When were these strange creatures first discovered? More...
This Day in History

Lumière Brothers' First Film Screening for a Paying Public Audience (1895)

In 1882, French inventor Louis Lumière developed a method of making photographic plates. By 1894, he and his brother August were producing 15 million plates a year. They worked on improving Edison's kinetoscope, and, in 1895, patented their combination movie camera and projector, the Cinématographe. Their 46-second film La Sortie des ouvriers de l'usine Lumière is considered the first motion picture and was one of 10 included in their first public film screening. What is its subject? More...
Today's Birthday

John von Neumann (1903)

Neumann was a Hungarian-born American mathematician. He emigrated to the US in 1930 to teach at Princeton University and was among the original faculty of its Institute for Advanced Study. He solved one of David Hilbert's 23 theoretical problems, collaborated on an algebraic ring with profound applications in quantum physics, and helped develop the atomic bomb. He later made major contributions to the development of computers. What branch of applied mathematics did he help found? More...
Quotation of the Day
It seems to me a hard case to make slaves of those whom God and nature have made free.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Idiom of the Day

hide and seek

A situation in which one party is constantly evading or avoiding another. (A reference to the children's game "hide and go seek.") Often used with the verb "play." More...
Today's Holiday

Fifth Night of Hanukkah (2016)

Hanukkah commemorates the successful rebellion of the Jews against the Syrians in the Maccabean War of 162 BCE, but the military associations are played down. What is really being celebrated is the survival of Judaism. Jewish families today celebrate this holiday by lighting a special Hanukkah menorah, a candelabrum with holders for eight candles, one for each day of celebration, plus a ninth, the shammash, used to light the others. A special prayer is recited during the lighting, and, while the candles burn, it is a time for songs and games, including the four-sided toy called the dreidel. More...
In the News

Poor Sleep Plagues Police

Sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and shift work disorder are common among US and Canadian police officers, and excessive fatigue is impairing their ability to perform their duties safely and effectively. About 40 percent of respondents in a recent survey of US and Canadian cops screened positive for at least one sleep disorder. These officers were also more likely to commit serious administrative errors and safety violations and to fall asleep behind the wheel than their better-rested coworkers. More...
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