Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, February 15, 2014)
Word of the Day

urbane

Definition:(adjective) Showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience.
Synonyms:svelte, polished, refined
Usage: In his mind, he was suave and urbane, but in real life, he was just the opposite.
Article of the Day

Melanism

Melanism is the dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers due to a high concentration of the pigment melanin. A classic example is the panther—which is actually a black leopard. However, melanism has several variations. Pseudo-melanism occurs when dark markings cover a large part of an animal's body, while industrial melanism results in dark varieties of animals that need camouflage in smoke-blackened industrial regions. What insect is commonly associated with industrial melanism? More...
This Day in History

Decimal Day (1971)

Financial calculations using the old currency of the UK were complicated, as one pound was made up of 240 pence or 20 shillings, a shilling was equal to 12 pence, and the half-crown was worth two shillings and sixpence. After considering decimalization for over a century, Parliament passed the Decimal Currency Act in 1969. The pound was to be divided into 100 "new pence," and a massive publicity campaign was launched in the weeks leading up to Decimal Day. How did people react to the change? More...
Today's Birthday

Susan Brownell Anthony (1820)

Anthony was a pioneer in the US women's suffrage movement. The daughter of an abolitionist, she was well-educated and campaigned tirelessly for abolition and suffrage, attempting to secure laws to protect women's rights. In 1869, she and fellow suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association. She helped edit a history of the movement and purchased copies for American and European universities. In 1872, she was arrested days after doing what? More...
Quotation of the Day
In time we hate that which we often fear.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Idiom of the Day

gym bunny

Someone who is obsessively preoccupied with maintaining or improving his or her physique and thus spends a large amount of time at the gym to do so. More...
Today's Holiday

Lupercalia (2017)

This was an ancient Roman festival during which worshippers gathered at a grotto on the Palatine Hill in Rome called the Lupercal. The sacrifice of goats and dogs to the Roman deities Lupercus and Faunus was part of the ceremony. Luperci (priests of Lupercus) dressed in goatskins and, smeared with the sacrificial blood, would run about striking women with thongs of goat skin. This was thought to assure them of fertility and an easy delivery. The name for these thongs—februa—meant "means of purification" and eventually gave the month of February its name. More...
In the News

Forecasting from One's Bones

Anecdotal evidence points to a link between weather conditions and body aches; however, the medical community has yet to reach a consensus on the issue since studies have yielded mixed results. Data from one recent study suggest that increased humidity and barometric pressure exacerbate joint pain and stiffness. For every 10% increase in humidity, osteoarthritis sufferers experienced a 1-point increase in pain on the Western Ontario and McMasters University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Similarly, for every 10-hectopascal increase in barometric pressure, WOMAC function scores worsened by a point. These effects are considered only moderate and not clinically significant. More...
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