nocebo , n :
(pharmacology, also attributive) A substance which a patient experiences as harmful due to a previous negative perception, but which is in fact pharmacologically (medicinally) inactive.
The Wikipedia article of the day for October 23, 2017 is Blackbeard.
Blackbeard (Edward Teach, c. 1680 – 1718) was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. He was probably born in Bristol, but little is known about his early life. He may have served on privateer ships during Queen Anne’s War before he joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, a pirate who operated from the Caribbean island of New Providence. In the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a renamed merchant vessel, Teach blockaded the port of Charles Town, South Carolina, with an alliance of pirates. After successfully ransoming its inhabitants, he settled in Bath Town, but soon returned to piracy. He was attacked and killed near Ocracoke Island by a crew seeking the reward for his capture. A shrewd and calculating leader, he avoided the use of force, and there are no accounts that he ever harmed his captives. Following his death, his image was romanticised, becoming the inspiration for a variety of pirate-themed works of fiction.
The Wikipedia article of the day for October 22, 2017 is Amargasaurus.
Amargasaurus was a sauropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Argentina from roughly 129 to 122 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous epoch. The only known skeleton was discovered in 1984 and is virtually complete. Amargasaurus cazaui, the only species in the genus, was a large animal reaching 9 to 10 meters (30 to 33 feet) in length, with two parallel rows of tall spines down its neck and back. The spines, taller than in any other known sauropod, probably protruded as solitary structures supporting a keratinous sheath, and may have been used for display, combat, or defense. Alternatively, they might have formed a scaffold supporting a skin sail. A herbivore, Amargasaurus probably fed at mid-height. Discovered in sedimentary rocks of the La Amarga Formation, it is most closely related to the Late Jurassic genera Dicraeosaurus, Brachytrachelopan and Suuwassea. Together, these genera form the family Dicraeosauridae, with shorter necks and smaller body sizes than other sauropods.
rhubarb , n :
Any plant of the genus Rheum, especially Rheum rharbarbarum, having large leaves and long green or reddish acidic leafstalks that are edible, in particular when cooked (although the leaves are mildly poisonous). (often attributive) The leafstalks of common rhubarb or garden rhubarb (usually known as Rheum × hybridum), which are long, fleshy, often pale red, and with a tart taste, used as a food ingredient; they are frequently stewed with sugar and made into jam or used in crumbles, pies, etc. […] (Britain, military, historical) A Royal Air Force World War II code name for operations by aircraft (fighters and fighter-bombers) involving low-level flight to seek opportunistic targets. […] (originally theater, uncountable) General background noise caused by several simultaneous indecipherable conversations, which is created in films, stage plays, etc., by actors repeating the word rhubarb; hence, such noise in other settings; rhubarb rhubarb, rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb. (US, originally baseball, countable) An excited, angry exchange of words, especially at a sporting event. (US, originally baseball, by extension, countable) A brawl. American sports commentator Red Barber, who popularized the baseball senses of the word, died on this day 25 years ago in 1992.
The Wikipedia article of the day for October 21, 2017 is Kragujevac massacre.
The Kragujevac massacre (21 October 1941) was the mass murder of almost 2,800 men and boys in the city of Kragujevac in the German-occupied territory of Serbia by German soldiers during World War II. Coming in reprisal for insurgent attacks that killed 10 German soldiers in the Gornji Milanovac district, it followed a punitive German operation in which 492 males were shot and four villages were burned down. The victims included Serbs, Jews, Romani people, Muslims, Macedonians, and Slovenes. The massacre exacerbated tensions between the two guerrilla movements, the communist-led Partisans and the royalist, Serbian nationalist Chetniks, and convinced Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović that further attacks against the Germans would only result in more Serb civilian deaths. Several senior German military officials were tried and convicted during and after the Nuremberg Trials for their involvement in the reprisal shootings. The massacre has been the subject of several poems and feature films. Commemorated annually in Serbia, it is memorialised at the October in Kragujevac Memorial Park and its 21st October Museum.
backstretch , n :
(athletics, horse racing) Synonym of back straight (“straight part of a racetrack, running track, etc., opposite the finishing line”). (horse racing) An area next to a racetrack used to stable the racehorses and house employees. (figuratively) The middle part of an event. Today is British Champions Day in 2017. Held at the Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, it is the richest thoroughbred horse race meeting in the United Kingdom.
The Wikipedia article of the day for October 19, 2017 is Henry III of England.
Henry III (1207–1272) was King of England from 1216 until his death. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons’ War. He was known for his piety, holding lavish religious ceremonies, giving generously to charities, and adopting Edward the Confessor as his patron saint. In 1230 he attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle, and a revolt broke out in 1232. He invaded Poitou in 1242, leading to the disastrous Battle of Taillebourg. In 1258 a coalition of his barons seized power in a coup. Henry and the baronial government enacted a peace treaty with King Louis IX of France in 1259, under which Henry gave up his other lands in France in return for recognition as the rightful ruler of Gascony. In 1263 one of the more radical barons, Simon de Montfort, seized power, resulting in the Second Barons’ War. At the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Henry was taken prisoner. His eldest son, Edward, defeated de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham the following year and freed his father.