hemerology , n :
The study of calendars, especially with a view to identifying propitious days. Happy New Year’s Eve from all of us at the Wiktionary!
The Wikipedia article of the day for December 31, 2017 is Birthday-number effect.
The birthday-number effect is the unconscious tendency of people to prefer the numbers in the date of their birthday over other numbers. First reported in 1997 by Japanese psychologists Shinobu Kitayama and Mayumi Karasawa, the birthday-number effect has been shown to hold across age and gender. The effect is most prominent for numbers over 12. Birth dates are unconsciously associated with the self, and most people like themselves; this has been offered as an explanation for the effect. Conversely, people who do not like themselves tend not to exhibit the effect. One lab study revealed an increase in favourable attitudes towards prices that were secretly manipulated to match the day of the month of the subjects’ birth, but a second study using birth year as price did not lead to the same result. People also have an unconscious preference for the letters in their name, and the two effects are significantly correlated. Another study found that participants with high self-esteem tended to prefer product names that included numbers from their birthday along with letters from their name.
cognate accusative , n :
(grammar) An object of kindred sense or derivation; specifically, that which may adverbially follow an intransitive verb (for example, the word death in “to die the death”).
The Wikipedia article of the day for December 30, 2017 is William Borah.
William Borah (1865–1940) was an outspoken Republican United States Senator from the state of Idaho. A progressive who served in the Senate from 1907 until his death, he is often considered an isolationist. He reluctantly voted for U.S. entry into World War I in 1917 and, once the war ended, fought successfully against Senate ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, which would have made the U.S. part of the League of Nations. Remaining a maverick, he often fought with the Republican presidents in office between 1921 and 1933, though Coolidge offered to make Borah his running mate in 1924. Deprived of his post as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the Democrats took control in 1933, Borah supported some New Deal legislation, but opposed other proposals. In his final years, he felt he might be able to settle differences in Europe by meeting with Hitler; though he did not go, this has not enhanced his historical reputation. His statue, presented by the state of Idaho in 1947, stands in the National Statuary Hall Collection.
ensete , n :
Ensete ventricosum, a species of flowering plant in the banana family Musaceae, the root of which is used for food and other purposes.
The Wikipedia article of the day for December 29, 2017 is Qatna.
Qatna is an ancient city in Syria whose remains are about 18 km (11 mi) northeast of Homs near the village of al-Mishrifeh. It was an important center circa 2000–500 BC, with one of Bronze Age Syria’s largest royal palaces (pictured). An intact royal tomb has provided data on the funerary habits of that period. First inhabited circa 3500 BC, it was repopulated around 2800 BC and continued to grow. Around 2000 BC, it became the capital of a regional kingdom that spread its authority over the central and southern Levant. By the 15th century BC, Qatna had lost its hegemony and was under the authority of Mitanni. It was conquered and sacked by the Hittites 1400 BC and abandoned by 1300 BC. It was re-inhabited in 1000 BC, becoming a center of the kingdoms of Palistin and Hamath until it was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BC, eventually disappearing in the 6th century BC. The site has been excavated since the 1920s. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, excavations stopped in 2011.
wurley , n :
(chiefly South Australia) An Australian indigenous shelter made from small branches with the leaves still attached. (chiefly South Australia, by extension) A settlement made up of such shelters. On this day in 1836, John Hindmarsh, the first Governor of South Australia, announced that South Australia had been created a British province, and that both the indigenous population and settlers would be equally protected by the law. For some years the date was commemorated as Proclamation Day, until the holiday was changed to the first otherwise working day after Christmas Day (usually 26 December).
The Wikipedia article of the day for December 28, 2017 is Death of Leelah Alcorn.
Leelah Alcorn (November 15, 1997 – December 28, 2014) was an American transgender girl whose suicide attracted international attention. At age 14, she came out as transgender to her parents, and at 16, she asked to undergo transition treatment; instead, they sent her to conversion therapy. After she revealed her attraction toward males to her classmates, her parents removed her from school and revoked her access to social media. She killed herself by walking into highway traffic. In her suicide note, Alcorn blamed her parents for her loneliness and alienation, and asked people to pay more attention to discrimination and abuse faced by transgender youth. LGBT rights activists cited the incident as evidence of the problems she wrote about, and vigils were held in her memory. Petitions that called for the establishment of “Leelah’s Law”, a ban on conversion therapy in the U.S., received a supportive response from President Barack Obama. Within a year, her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, criminalized conversion therapy.
dragline excavator , n :
Any of several very large vehicles used for lifting, especially in the process of mining: basically an excavator which drags its bucket to fill it.
The Wikipedia article of the day for December 27, 2017 is Brazilian battleship São Paulo.
São Paulo was a dreadnought battleship in the Brazilian Navy, the second of two ships in the Minas Geraes class. Launched in 1909 and commissioned a year later, São Paulo was soon involved in the Revolt of the Lash, in which crews on four Brazilian warships mutinied over poor pay and harsh punishments for even minor offenses. In 1922 the ship fired its guns in anger for the first time, attacking a fort that had been taken during the Tenente revolts. Two years later, mutineers took control of the ship and sailed to Montevideo where they obtained asylum. In the 1930s, São Paulo was passed over for modernization. When Brazil entered the Second World War, the ship sailed to the port of Recife and remained there as the port’s main defense for the duration of the war. Stricken from the naval register in 1947, the dreadnought remained as a training vessel until 1951, when it was taken under tow to be scrapped in the United Kingdom. The tow lines broke during a strong gale in November when the ships were 150 nmi (280 km; 170 mi) north of the Azores, and São Paulo was lost.