Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, May 14, 2016)
Word of the Day

cumulonimbus

Definition:(noun) An extremely dense, vertically developed cumulus with a relatively hazy outline and a glaciated top extending to great heights, usually producing heavy rains, thunderstorms, or hailstorms.
Synonyms:thundercloud
Usage: The cumulonimbus looming above our heads did not bode well for the future of our barbecue.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining the Imperative Mood

Although we can use the subjunctive mood to express commands or requests, it is becoming less common in modern English. Instead, we usually use the imperative mood to form imperative sentences when we want to issue direct orders, commands, or general instructions. Why is the imperative considered an irrealis mood? More...
Article of the Day

The Pazzi Conspiracy

In the late 1400s, Pope Sixtus IV, his nephew Gerolamo Riario, Archbishop Salviati, and members of the wealthy Pazzi family hatched a plot to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici. The Pazzi and Medici families were rivals, but the Pazzis were merely tools in the conspiracy, which aimed to increase Riario's power in Florence. On April 26, 1478, while attending High Mass at the Duomo, Giuliano was stabbed to death. What happened to Lorenzo? More...
This Day in History

Seinfeld Series Finale Airs (1998)

One of the most successful situation comedies in the history of television, Seinfeld is often described as a show about nothing. Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter of whom starred as a fictionalized version of himself on the show, it featured a collection of selfish and neurotic characters obsessed with the minutiae of everyday life. After nine seasons, the series came to an end. In its final episode, the four main characters find themselves incarcerated for what crime? More...
Today's Birthday

Adolf Frederick of Sweden (1710)

King of Sweden from 1751 until his death 20 years later, Adolf Frederick was, for the entirety of his reign, largely just a figurehead. Most of the power actually rested with the Riksdag, Sweden's parliament. Twice he tried to free himself of its control. The first attempt ended disastrously, with Adolf Frederick nearly losing his throne. His second attempt met with greater success, but the victory ultimately did little to increase his power. In what memorable and unusual way did he die? More...
Quotation of the Day
A sudden, bold, and unexpected question, doth many times surprise a man, and lay him open.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

nice guy

A teenaged or adult male who is dependably friendly and compassionate, to the point of being seen as too boring, unchallenging, or uninspiring to be romantically involved with. More...
Today's Holiday

Liberia National Unification Day (2018)

This annual observance in Liberia draws attention to the animosity between the Americo-Liberian elite and the indigenous majority. Under the leadership of President William V. S. Tubman, who led from 1944 to 1971, the divide between these two groups was diminished. Tubman introduced the National Unification Policy, which featured among other things an extension of the vote to women and the country's indigenous people. The anniversary emerged as a means to draw support for the policy. The day reminds Liberians to remember what they hold in common and not to dwell on how they diverge. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: torch

funeral - Once was a torchlight procession, from Latin funis, "torch"—because funerals of the Romans took place at night by torchlight. More...

kindle - The verb is related to Old Norse kyndill, "candle, torch." More...

Drummond light - A torch that burns calcium oxide (lime) and gives off intense white light, it was named for Scottish engineer Capt. Thomas Drummond, R.E. (1797-1840), who invented it around 1825. More...

torch - From Latin torquere, it first referred to tarred twists of frayed rope. More...

In the News

Study: Acetaminophen Dulls Your Pain -- But Also Your Empathy

The side effects of popping a pain reliever containing acetaminophen are well-known: You may get stomach pains. You might feel nauseated. Well, add another possible one to the list: You'll feel less inclined to empathize with your fellow man. A new study ... More...
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