Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 9, 2017)
Word of the Day

preclude

Definition:(verb) Keep from happening or arising; make impossible.
Synonyms:foreclose, forestall, prevent, forbid
Usage: Modesty precludes me from accepting the honor.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Action Verbs

Action verbs (also known as dynamic verbs) are verbs that are used to explain what the subject of a sentence is actively doing. What is a stative verb? More...
Article of the Day

Shrunken Heads

The Shuar people of Ecuador and Peru first came to worldwide attention in the 1800s, after Westerners discovered that the group practiced head shrinking. The custom stems from the belief that severing an enemy's head and shrinking it harnesses the person's spirit and compels it to serve the shrinker. Though cultural restrictions limited the manufacture of shrunken heads, Western demand for the macabre artifacts prompted the Shuar to produce them in greater quantities. How does one shrink a head? More...
This Day in History

Notorious B.I.G. Shot and Killed in Los Angeles (1997)

Seven months after rival rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas, Christopher Wallace—better known as the Notorious B.I.G.—was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Although it has been widely speculated that Wallace was shot in retaliation for Shakur's murder in the culmination of a feud between members of East Coast and West Coast hip-hop record companies, both murders remain unsolved. Just weeks after Wallace's death, his new album was released. What was it called? More...
Today's Birthday

Tom Roberts (1856)

Roberts was born in England and immigrated to Australia as a teen. By day, he worked as a photographer's assistant and a picture-frame maker, but by night, he studied art and painted. His scenes of rural Australian life, often with humorous touches, earned disapproval from conventional art critics, yet they are now recognized as prime examples of the so-called Heidelberg school of art. One unusually large Roberts painting, appropriately entitled The Big Picture, depicts what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Compromise, n.: Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

make (the) baby Jesus cry

To be offensive, immoral, unethical, in poor taste, etc., as might cause or provoke the displeasure or disapproval of Jesus Christ. More...
Today's Holiday

Forty Martyrs' Day (2018)

The "Forty Martyrs of Sebaste" were Roman soldiers quartered in Armenia in 320; they are greatly revered in the Eastern Christian Church. In Greece, special foods are prepared: cake with 40 layers of pastry, stew with 40 herbs, 40 pancakes, etc. In Romania, little cakes called sfintisori ("little mints") are baked and given to and received from every passerby. Coliva is also traditional. Farm tools are readied for work, and hearth ashes are spread around the cottage to keep the serpent from entering (each home is said to have a serpent protecting it). More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: sore

angry - Describing a wound or sore that is red and inflamed. More...

merry-gall - A sore produced by chafing. More...

sore - As a noun, it first meant generally "physical pain and suffering." More...

chafe, chaff - To chafe means to rub until sore or worn; to chaff means to tease good-naturedly. More...

In the News

Why Are Pandas Black and White? The Answer Is, err, Not So Black and White

Mammals are a mostly drab bunch. Due to camouflage, a nocturnal lifestyle and other evolutionary demands, dull and earthy tones reign supreme. There are a few notable exceptions. When mandrills become excited, the monkeys' rumps turn shades of ruby ... More...
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