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Articolele zilei - Articles of the day

A lek is a traditional site where both males and females of a species congregate during the breeding season. It is comprised of a number of small territories, each occupied by a single male. There, the males attempt to attract a mate by sparring with their neighbors or putting on extravagant visual or aural displays, such as mating "dances," vocal challenges, or plumage displays. What is the "lek paradox"? Discuss
Known in Hebrew as Machon HaMikdash, the Temple Institute is an organization in Israel focusing on the controversial endeavor of re-establishing the Third Temple—a place of worship desired by Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Although there is disagreement within Orthodox Judaism about whether the rebuilding should occur by human or divine hands, the Temple Institute's long-term goal is to establish the temple on what controversial site? Discuss
Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources recorded roughly 3,200 to 4,000 years ago mention the Habiru, a group of people found throughout the Fertile Crescent, which spanned the Levant, Mesopotamia, and ancient Egypt. Depending on the source and epoch, the Habiru are variously described as nomads, rebels, outlaws, mercenaries, bowmen, slaves, or migrant laborers. Though opinion remains divided on this issue, some scholars associate the Habiru with what ethnic group? Discuss
Allura Red AC is a red synthetic dye that is often used as a food coloring. Although some fear that it poses a health risk and it is banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, Allura Red AC has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in cosmetics, drugs, and food, and it is found in many products, including tattoo inks and orange soda. From what substance is Allura Red derived? Discuss
The use of poison gases—ranging from disabling chemicals like tear gas and mustard gas to lethal agents like phosgene—was a military innovation put into use during WWI that had a major impact on warfare. Although the killing capacity of gas was limited—only 4% of combat deaths were due to gas—the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high, and gas remained one of the soldiers' greatest fears. What were some of the early, crude countermeasures developed to defend against the use of poison gases? Discuss
The Tabula Peutingeriana, or Peutinger Table, is the sole surviving copy of an itinerarium, or map, depicting the road network of the ancient Roman Empire. The original map was last revised in the 4th or early 5th century and covered Europe, parts of Asia, and North Africa, including Roman settlements and the roads that connected them. In the 13th century, a monk assembled the 22-ft (6.75-m) long scroll using 11 parchment sections. The map indicates the existence of what lands? Discuss
Since the concept of terraforming—making a planet's environment suitable for human habitation­—was first proposed, Mars has been one of the primary hypothetical candidates for its application. Although Mars may have had a relatively earthlike environment early in its history, experts disagree on whether present-day Mars can be adapted to support human life. Terraforming Mars would require at least two major changes: building up the atmosphere and heating it. How could such changes be achieved? Discuss
Achieving the perfect lighting for outdoor shots can be a challenge for even the most experienced photographer. In the middle of the day, the harsh overhead sun can cause overly bright highlights and dark shadows. To get the best shot, photographers often wait for the "golden" or "magic" hour—the first and last periods of sunlight during the day. The low sun creates a warm light that is ideal for landscape photos and enhances the colors of a scene. How long does the "golden hour" usually last? Discuss
The Quinceañera is, in many Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas, the celebration of a young woman's fifteenth birthday and marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. In this latter respect, the Quinceañera is similar to the "sweet sixteen" or debutante ball of the English-speaking world. Observed differently in different countries, Quinceañera festivities range from modest religious ceremonies to lavish, wedding-style celebrations. What is the origin of the tradition? Discuss
The Kayan are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group known for their unusual tradition of body modification, which consists of coiling lengths of brass around women's necks. The coils are first applied to young girls when they are approximately five years old, and each coil is replaced with a longer one as the weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. Contrary to popular belief, the neck vertebrae are not actually lengthened. Can wearers remove the rings entirely? Discuss
Hussars originated in 15th-century Hungary as a light-horse corps, but the term now applies to members of various light cavalry regiments in European armies, renowned for their elegant dress. The brilliantly colored Hungarian hussar's uniform consisted of a high cylindrical cap, a jacket with heavy braiding, and a loose coat worn hanging from the left shoulder. Several hussar regiments of the British army survive today as armored units. What were the original meanings of the word "hussar"? Discuss
Read was an Australian criminal and author. He committed numerous crimes, including armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping and spent only 13 months outside of jail between the ages of 20 and 38. He used his criminal and prison exploits as fodder for a bestselling series of true-crime books. In them, he tells of attacking a judge, robbing drug dealers, torturing members of the criminal underworld, and starting a prison war. What children's book written by Read was the target of an attempted ban? Discuss
Tooth decay is a common health problem, second in prevalence only to the common cold. About 75% of all people have had their first cavity by the age of 5. Decay is caused by 3 factors: plaque bacteria, sugar, and a vulnerable tooth surface. Although several microorganisms can cause tooth decay, the primary disease agent appears to be Streptococcus mutans. If left untreated, decay can lead to tooth loss, infection, and, in severe cases, death. What drugs can lead to rampant tooth decay? Discuss
In 1859, French physicist Gaston Planté invented the lead acid battery, the world's first rechargeable electric battery and the forerunner of the modern automobile battery. His early model consisted of two sheets of coiled lead soaked in sulfuric acid, but he soon revised this design, and just a year later, he presented a nine-cell version to the Academy of Sciences. What mechanical device did Planté invent as part of his investigation into the differences between static and dynamic electricity? Discuss
Philippe Petit is a French high-wire artist who gained fame for his illegal 1974 walk between the former Twin Towers in New York. After six years of planning, Petit used a 450-pound (204-kg) cable and a 26-foot (8-m), 55-pound (25-kg) balancing pole to make eight crossings between the still unfinished towers—walking, jumping, and lying down on the wire for more than an hour before being arrested when he returned to the tower roof. What punishment did Petit receive for his stunt? Discuss
Before the dawn of movies, vaudeville shows packed US theaters. Following the format of beer hall variety shows, each vaudeville performance had 10–15 unrelated acts that could include anything from acrobats to opera singers. Vaudeville emerged in the early 1880s as former circus performer Tony Pastor cleaned up variety shows. He banned the sale of liquor and eliminated the cruder acts, and his success prompted other managers to do the same. What did Pastor give to vaudeville show attendees? Discuss
The members of the Charan caste living in the Gujarat and Rajasthan states of India are revered for their willingness to die for their beliefs and for their bravery in war. Though caste members are taught to respect bravery, loyalty, and truth more than life, they also value the literary arts. Poetry is an integral part of Charan identity, and some caste members are addressed as Kaviraj, a title meaning "Great Poet." The practice of self-immolation is common in Charan culture. What is it? Discuss
Known as both the "Mad" and "Bloody" Baron, Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg was a military commander who became an independent warlord after the Russian Civil War. A mystic who believed he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan, he aimed to unite the Far-Eastern nations under one monarch. In 1921, he achieved this goal, becoming dictator of Mongolia before being captured by his own troops and executed by the Red Army. How did he trick the Chinese into abandoning Mongolia's capital city, Urga? Discuss
A local currency is a currency that is not backed by a national government and is intended for trade only in a small area. Today, more than 2,500 local currency systems operate throughout the world. Though advocates say local currencies enable people in economically depressed regions to improve their situation, opponents argue that such systems can interfere with economies of scale and lead to tax evasion. What are some examples of local currencies? Discuss
Shah Abbas I ascended the Persian throne in the late 16th century, after participating in the coup that deposed his father. Persian artistic achievement flourished during Abbas's reign. The empire's new capital, Isfahan, was transformed into one of the world's most beautiful cities and quickly became one of the most important cultural centers in the Islamic world. Abbas's rule was tarnished, however, by his cruelty to his family. What did he do to three of his sons? Discuss
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