Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 16, 2013)
Word of the Day

staid

Definition:(adjective) Characterized by sedate dignity and often a strait-laced sense of propriety.
Synonyms:serious, sober, quiet, calm, grave, steady, composed, solemn
Usage: I instinctively stood up a little straighter when the staid duke entered the parlor.
Article of the Day

Schrödinger's Cat in Popular Culture

In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger applied quantum-mechanical indeterminacy to an admittedly “ridiculous” thought experiment in which a cat is closed in a box with a vial of poison that will smash if a radioactive atom decays. The two possible yet mutually exclusive states—the cat being alive or dead—coexist until the box is opened and the cat's fate is seen. Writers have pounced on the idea, weaving it into TV shows, books, and movies. What TV character referenced it after a kiss? More...
This Day in History

Montreal Protocol Signed to Protect the Ozone Layer (1987)

The Montreal Protocol was enacted in response to the discovery that the ozone layer—which shields life on Earth from harmful radiation—was diminishing. Signed by the majority of the world's nations, the treaty mandates the decreased use of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and has been amended several times based on new scientific data. By 1993, CFC production had dropped dramatically. If the agreement is followed, the ozone layer is expected to recover by what year? More...
Today's Birthday

B.B. King (1925)

A singer and guitarist born into a sharecropping family in the Mississippi Delta region of the US, King began playing guitar at 12. He worked as a radio DJ in Memphis before coming to prominence as a guitarist in 1952. He has toured widely, averaging over 300 shows a year for nearly 30 years. King famously named his guitar Lucille after a woman who inspired a fight at one of his concerts that ended with the venue burning down. King's first name is Riley. What does B.B. stand for? More...
Quotation of the Day
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

leather-lunged

(used before a noun) Having an extremely or inordinately loud or strong voice, as of someone with very robust lungs. More...
Today's Holiday

Mexico Festival of Independence (2017)

At 11 o'clock on the night of September 15 in Mexico City, the president appears on the balcony of the National Palace and proclaims the famous Grito de Dolores ("cry of Dolores")—the "call to freedom" that the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla used to rouse the peasant population to fight for their independence in 1810. The people respond by cheering Viva México! and shooting off fireworks. The following day is Independence Day, which is celebrated with fireworks, the ringing of cathedral bells, and a huge military parade. More...
In the News

BRCA1 Not Predictive of Breast Cancer Survival

Mutations in the BRCA1 gene may raise a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, but they do not appear to worsen her chances of survival following diagnosis. About four out of five women live for at least 10 years following a breast cancer diagnosis, whether or not they have a BRCA1 mutation. Whether cancerous cells have infiltrated the lymph nodes is a much stronger predictor of survival. Breast cancer patients with positive lymph node status are three times more likely to die during that same period than those without. More...
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