Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, February 19, 2015)
Word of the Day

portmanteau

Definition:(noun) A large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments.
Synonyms:Gladstone
Usage: With both sides stuffed to capacity, he needed to sit on top of the portmanteau in order to close it.
Article of the Day

The Boll Weevil

The boll weevil is a beetle that feeds on bolls, the seed-bearing capsules of cotton plants. Probably of Mexican or Central American origin, the boll weevil appeared in Texas about 1892, spread to most cotton-growing regions of the US, and eventually became responsible for the destruction of about 8% of the nation's annual cotton crop. Eradication programs begun in 1978 have proven successful in many states. Why did the citizens of Enterprise, Alabama, erect a monument to the pest in 1919? More...
This Day in History

Thomas Edison Patents the Phonograph (1878)

Though his formal schooling was limited to just three months of instruction before he was ten years old, Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of his time. His work in improving telegraph technology—particularly his discovery of a method for recording telegraph messages—led Edison to suspect he could do similar things with sound. Within months, the first working model of his phonograph was ready. Why, according to Edison, was he "taken aback" when his invention worked on the first try? More...
Today's Birthday

Amy Tan (1952)

Born in Oakland, California, to Chinese immigrants, Tan is an award-winning author whose novels focus on the lives of Asian-Americans and the complexities of intergenerational relationships, particularly those of mothers and daughters. Her best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club was based on the tragic experiences of her mother, who had years earlier fled an abusive marriage, though it meant leaving her three daughters behind in Shanghai. When did Tan finally meet her half-sisters? More...
Quotation of the Day
The days...come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Idiom of the Day

with a heavy hand

In an excessive, authoritarian, or oppressive way or manner. More...
Today's Holiday

Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin (2017)

On February 19, 1942, Japanese bomber and fighter planes conducted a devastating air raid on the town of Darwin, the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory. As a tribute to honor the dead and those who defended Darwin, an annual commemoration is held in Bicentennial Park by the Cenotaph, a monument to those slain in World War I. At 9:58 a.m., the exact time the attack began, a World War II air raid siren sounds. During some observances, Australian regiments will reenact the attack: ground units fire their guns, and fighter planes perform fly-bys over the memorial site. More...
In the News

First Genetically Modified Apple Approved in US

The US Department of Agriculture has approved America's first genetically modified apple—a variety engineered not to turn brown when bruised or sliced. Scientists achieved this effect by turning off a particular gene. Although it will be several years before these apples are sold to the public, they have already sparked a backlash from critics, who say that more human studies should be conducted before genetically modified organisms are widely sold. More...
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