Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, September 12, 2016)
Word of the Day

lackey

Definition:(noun) A servile follower.
Synonyms:toady, crawler, sycophant
Usage: The archdeacon had in Quasimodo the most submissive slave, the most docile lackey, the most vigilant of dogs.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Adverbs in Different Degrees of Comparison

Just like adjectives, adverbs have comparative and superlative degrees. What are adverbs in their basic forms sometimes known as? More...
Article of the Day

Olbers's Paradox

If the universe is assumed to contain an infinite number of uniformly distributed luminous stars, then every point in the sky should be as bright as a star. So why is the sky dark at night? That is the question posed by Olbers's paradox, named for astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, who described it in 1823, more than 200 years after Johannes Kepler first posed the question as an argument against the notion of a limitless universe with infinite stars. How has the paradox since been resolved? More...
This Day in History

South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Steve Biko Dies in Police Custody (1977)

A former medical student, Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in 1968 to combat racism and apartheid. He was officially "banned" by the South African government in 1973 and was arrested several times in the years that followed. Arrested for the last time in 1977, he was tortured and beaten to death in police custody, prompting international protests and a UN arms embargo. Twenty years later, five former policemen admitted killing him. Why were they never prosecuted? More...
Today's Birthday

Maurice Chevalier (1888)

Chevalier was a French actor, singer, and vaudeville entertainer known for his trademark tuxedo and straw hat. While a prisoner of war during World War I, Chevalier studied English. After the war, he began acting in the US, where he appeared in movies that helped establish the musical as a film genre. Though he put on a heavy French accent while performing in English, he actually spoke the language quite fluently with only a subtle accent. Why did his popularity dwindle during World War II? More...
Quotation of the Day
Capital, n.: The seat of misgovernment.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

put in (one's) two cents' worth

To share one's opinion or point of view for whatever it may be worth, generally when it is unasked for. More...
Today's Holiday

Festival of St. Nichiren's Pardon (2018)

At the Botamochi Temple in Kamakura, Japan, this festival honors St. Nichiren (1222-1282), considered to be Japan's most fervent Buddhist priest. He was exiled to the island of Sado in the Sea of Japan in 1271. After four years there, he returned and spent the rest of his life on Mount Minobu. The Festival of Nichiren's Pardon is observed by members of the Nichiren sect with massive demonstrations and the loud chanting of prayers attributed to Nichiren, accompanied by the beating of drums. People make offerings of botamochi, rice balls covered with sweet bean paste, in his honor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: nourish

alimony - From Latin alimonia, "nourishment" or "eating money," from alere, "to nourish," and mony, "result, resulting condition," it first meant "nourishment, support." More...

alumnus, alumna, alumni - Alumnus and alumna stem from Latin alere, "to nourish or be nourished," now by a university; originally alumnus was a pupil and now it is a male graduate. Alumni refers to either sex. More...

coalesce - Meaning "cause to grow together," it is from Latin co- and alere, "nourish." More...

nurture - The verb was formed after the noun, which first referred (c. 1330) to a person's training or breeding. The word can be traced back to Latin nutritus, meaning "to nourish." More...

In the News

World's Wilderness Reduced by a Tenth Since 1990s

A tenth of the world's wilderness has vanished in the past two decades, research shows. New maps show "alarming losses" of pristine landscapes, particularly in South America and Africa, according to World Conservation Society scientists. They argue in ... More...
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