Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 07, 2013)
Word of the Day

encumbrance

Definition:(noun) Any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome.
Synonyms:hindrance, preventive, interference, hitch
Usage: I had regarded his presence as an encumbrance to the expedition, but ... I am now well convinced that his power of endurance is as great as my own.
Article of the Day

The Kit-Cat Club

The Kit-Cat Club was an association of some of the best young writers and most prominent Whig politicians in early 18th-century London. Among the roughly four dozen members were figures such as Sir Robert Walpole, William Congreve, and Joseph Addison, in addition to a number of dukes. They first met in the tavern of Christopher Catling, whose mutton pies were called kit-cats. In its time, the club was well known for drinking toasts to notable women of the day. Who were some of those honored? More...
This Day in History

Alexander Graham Bell Awarded US Patent for Telephone (1876)

Originally an audiologist, professor, and teacher of the deaf, Bell became interested in the idea of transmitting sound waves by wire when he misread a thesis by a German physicist. He mistakenly believed that the thesis implied such a transmission was possible. It did not, but Bell's idea was sound. Later, he described his mistranslation as a "valuable blunder." Three days after receiving a patent for his device, he spoke the first sentence ever transmitted by telephone. What was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Luther Burbank (1849)

The 13th child of a Massachusetts farmer, Burbank received little formal education, yet he went on to become a groundbreaking horticulturist. Influenced by Charles Darwin's writings, he began breeding plants at age 21. The rapid success of his Burbank potato, the russet variety of which is now the most widely-grown potato in the US, allowed him to move to California and establish an experimental farm, where he developed more than 800 varieties of plants. What is his spineless cactus used for? More...
Quotation of the Day
The latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

honorable mention

A recognition or citation of merit given to a contestant, exhibition, entry, etc., in a competition despite that person or thing not being awarded a prize or top honor. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Burbank Day (2017)

The birthday of naturalist and plant breeder Luther Burbank (1849-1926) is observed in California in much the same way Arbor Day is observed in other states—that is, with activities promoting the value of natural resources and the protection of trees and birds. Burbank moved from his native Massachusetts to Santa Rosa, California, in 1875 and spent the rest of his life there experimenting with new varieties of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. On March 7, a birthday and Arbor Day celebration is held at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. More...
In the News

Proposal to Ban Drunkenness at UN Budget Debates

One would think it goes without saying that the people determining the budget of the world's leading international diplomatic organization should be sober when doing so, but apparently, it does not. Diplomats who have participated in the UN's budget debate sessions say that it is not uncommon to see delegates who are visibly drunk. It is apparently such a significant problem that a US ambassador to the UN has proposed making the negotiating rooms inebriation-free zones. More...
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