Category Archives: Article of the Day

Identity Theft

The most common forms of identity theft occur when someone obtains another person’s personal information, such as a date of birth, and uses it to open a fraudulent bank, credit card, or other account, or to obtain false loans. In other cases, criminals provide another’s name and information to police when arrested, so that the charges appear on that person’s record. According to some statistics, how long does the average victim take to resolve a case of identity theft? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Songtsän Gampo

Born in the seventh century, Songtsän Gampo was the founder of the Tibetan empire. Though much of the information about his life is derived from legend and tradition, Gampo is believed to have ascended to the throne while still a minor. He is widely credited with bringing many cultural and technological advances to Tibet. Most notably, he is considered to be the first of the three rulers, known as the “Dharma Kings,” who established Buddhism in Tibet. Who were the other two? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

K2

Standing 28,251 ft (8,611 m) high on the border of China and Pakistan, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. Although the summit of Mt. Everest is at a higher altitude, K2 is considered a more difficult climb, due in part to its severe weather. Part of the Karakorum segment of the Himalayas, the peak was first scaled in 1954, but only a few hundred climbers have ever reached the summit—compared to the thousands who have ascended Everest. Why is the mountain called “K2”? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Offender Profiling

Featured in many popular films and TV shows, offender profiling is a method of identifying the perpetrator of a crime by analyzing the circumstances of an offense and then forming a description of the offender based on personality traits linked with the commission of such a crime. Though many criminals have been captured with the help of profiling, critics argue that it can distract from potential suspects who do not “fit the profile.” What murderers have been caught with the aid of profiling? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bronze Diabetes

Also known as bronze diabetes, hemochromatosis is a blood disorder that causes the body to retain excessive amounts of iron, leading to serious health consequences, including diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver. It was first described in 1865 by French physician Armand Trousseau in a report on diabetes in patients with bronze skin pigmentation. The disease most commonly appears in older patients, since it takes many years for the body to accumulate excessive iron. How is hemochromatosis treated? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Riverboarding

Riverboarding is a sport in which thrill-seekers—and sometimes even emergency rescuers—lie prone on a specialized board and ride down rivers, through rapids, and over waterfalls using swim fins for propulsion and steering, at times performing tricks. The sport is known as hydrospeed in France, where it is thought to have originated in the late 1970s with river guides riding burlap mailsacks stuffed with life vests. What is the current record for tallest waterfall descended using a riverboard? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hibernation

In winter, when temperatures dip below freezing and food supplies dwindle, some animals enter hibernation—an inactive state in which metabolism nearly stops, body temperature drops, and heart rate may slow to one or two beats a minute. Though the exact stimulus that triggers hibernation is unknown, infusing an extract from the blood of a hibernating animal into an active potential hibernator has been shown to induce hibernation, indicating that the cause may be blood-borne. What is estivation? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Fig Wasps

The life cycle of fig wasps is intimately intertwined with that of the fig trees they inhabit. It begins when a female wasp enters the fruit through a natural opening and deposits her eggs inside, pollinating the inner flowers in the process. Next, non-pollinating wasps deposit their eggs. After maturing inside the fig, male offspring’s only jobs are to mate with the females—while still within the fig—and chew a hole through which the females can escape. What happens when the males exit the fig? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

El Día de los Muertos: The Day of the Dead

In Mexico and parts of Central America, el Día de los Muertos, or “the Day of the Dead,” is a time when families and friends gather to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Altars made of flowers, sugar skulls, and the favorite foods of the dead are often erected for the holiday, observed on the first two days of November to coincide with the Christian All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Scholars trace the origins of this holiday to an Aztec festival dedicated to what goddess? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In the Pacific Ocean, there is a vortex of ocean currents that occupies an area of approximately 10 million square miles (26 million sq km). Called the North Pacific Gyre, it has a relatively stationary center whose circular rotation draws in waste material, leading to a massive, floating accumulation of debris known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Though such debris has historically been biodegradable, the gyre is now accumulating vast quantities of plastics, which break down into what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary