Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, November 21, 2017)
Word of the Day

countervail

Definition:(verb) Oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions.
Synonyms:counteract, counterbalance, neutralize
Usage: I hope that my letter of apology will countervail the foolish actions of my colleagues.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Verbs that Indicate the Future

Because modal auxiliary verbs can be quite similar in how they are used, it is sometimes unclear when it's more appropriate to use one instead of another. For instance, "will" and "shall" can both be used to indicate the future. But "shall" can only be used to form the future tense when the subject is in what person? More...
Article of the Day

The Spinal Cord

Approximately 18 inches (45 cm) long, the human spinal cord is the body's major neural tract, a thin, tubular bundle of nerves that is enclosed in and protected by the bony vertebral column. Together, the spinal cord and brain compose the central nervous system. Injury to the spinal cord may result in a loss of communication between the brain and sections of the spinal cord, causing paralysis, loss of sensation, or weakness. From what part of the brain does the spinal cord extend? More...
This Day in History

First Manned, Untethered Hot Air Balloon Flight (1783)

The pioneering ballooning efforts of the Montgolfier brothers of France made 1783 a noteworthy year in aviation history. That year, the pair developed the first practical hot-air balloon—and demonstrated its safety by sending aloft a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. Months later, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, made the first manned, untethered flight in a Montgolfier balloon, but they had not been the first choices to pilot the historic flight. Who were? More...
Today's Birthday

René Magritte (1898)

Before gaining the support of a Brussels art gallery and taking up painting full-time, Magritte earned a living designing wallpaper and advertisements. His early works were in the Cubist and Futurist styles, but he soon embraced Surrealism. Dislocations of space, time, and scale were common elements in his illogical paintings, and he used certain images—the sea, the female torso, the bourgeois "little man" in a bowler hat—repeatedly. Why did art thieves return a stolen Magritte painting in 2012? More...
Quotation of the Day
Liberty…is one of the most valuable blessings that Heaven has bestowed upon mankind.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Idiom of the Day

take a breath

To inhale and then exhale. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (2018)

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first celebrated by the Greeks in about the eighth century and was not adopted by the Roman Catholic Church until the later Middle Ages; no one is quite sure when this festival was first introduced. As related in the apocryphal Book of James, it commemorates the presentation of the three-year-old Mary in the Temple to consecrate her to the service of God. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: plow

acre - Old English aecer, now acre, was originally the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day; the Old English word came from Latin ager, "fertile field," and became acre, which first meant any field. More...

plow - Borrowed from Old Norse plogr. More...

snow berm - A ridge of snow graded up by a plow. More...

hale - A handle of a plow or wheelbarrow. More...

In the News

Pluto's smog keeps it cool

The dwarf planet Pluto averages a distance of nearly 40 astronomical units from the Sun, or 40 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. That vast distance from our heat-giving star is responsible for some pretty frigid temperatures on the small world — but ... More...
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