Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, March 14, 2012)
Word of the Day

devotee

Definition:(noun) An ardent follower and admirer.
Synonyms:buff, lover, fan
Usage: He became a devotee of the moving-picture shows, spending as much as twenty and thirty cents a day and resolutely sitting out every repetition of program.
Article of the Day

Marsyas

According to Greek mythology, Marsyas was a satyr—a half-man, half-goat creature prone to merrymaking—who found a flute discarded by the goddess Athena and became so proficient at playing it that he challenged the lyre-playing god Apollo to a contest. Apollo accepted on the condition that the winner would earn the right to do whatever he wanted to the loser. The Muses, acting as judges, naturally awarded the contest to Apollo, who promptly punished the presumptuous Marsyas in what cruel fashion? More...
This Day in History

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin Awarded Patent (1794)

By the end of the 18th century, the mechanization of fabric production in England had created a huge demand for US cotton, but cotton production was hampered by the large amount of manual labor required to remove the sticky seeds from the raw fiber. Whitney's cotton gin solved this problem, performing the work mechanically and quickly. Cotton production in the US skyrocketed, as did the slave population—which quadrupled by 1850. Why was Whitney unable to profit from his invention? More...
Today's Birthday

Johann Strauss I (1804)

Tragically orphaned at the age of 12, Strauss was apprenticed to a bookbinder but studied violin on the side. After completing his apprenticeship, he performed in string quartets around Vienna before deciding to start his own band and write his own music. He enjoyed much professional success, but his family life was tempestuous. He forbade his children to study music, but they did anyway, with Johann II eventually overshadowing him. In 1849, he died after contracting scarlet fever from whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

idiot mittens

Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. More...
Today's Holiday

Mamuralia (2017)

According to one Roman myth, Mamurius was a smith who was run out of the city because the shields he made for the soldiers failed to protect them when they were substituted for the sacred shield that had fallen from heaven. Another explanation is that Mamurius represented the old year, which had to be driven away on the day preceding the first full moon of the new Roman year. In any case, the rite that took place on March 14 involved leading a man wearing only animal skins through the streets of Rome. He was pursued and beaten with long white rods until he was driven out of the city. More...
In the News

Astronauts at Risk of Eye and Brain Damage

Long periods of weightlessness could have detrimental effects on eyesight. Medical tests detected abnormalities in the brains and eyes of some astronauts who spent more than 30 days in space, including expansion of the cerebral spinal fluid space surrounding the optic nerve, flattening of the rear of the eyeball, bulging of the optic nerve, and changes in the pituitary gland and its connection to the brain. These types of abnormalities are typically seen in cases of intracranial hypertension, a condition in which there is a buildup of pressure within the skull that can eventually lead to vision loss. More...
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