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International News Archive - July 24, 2012

More Basking Shark Sightings In British Waters

Basking sharks, after being protected from commercial hunting since the late 20th century, are on the rise in British waters.

Medieval Banking Records Discovered Hidden Under Coats Of Arms

A rare accounting document, half-concealed beneath a coat of arms design, has revealed the activities of Italian bankers working in early 15th century London, decades before the capital became a financial powerhouse.

La Garrotxa: Researchers Pinpoint Youngest Volcanic Area In Spain

Although volcanic scientists are able to approximate the age of lava flows, determining the exact timing of each of a volcano’s eruptions has proved difficult in the past.

Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'