Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, October 14, 2017)
Word of the Day

calve

Definition:(verb) To set loose (a mass of ice). Used of a glacier or iceberg.
Synonyms:break up
Usage: From the deck of the ship, we saw the magnificent glacier calve, sending massive shards of glassy ice into the waters below.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Comparative Adjectives

When using comparative adjectives, the two nouns that are being compared can both appear in the sentence. This is the case if there is any chance of the listener or reader being confused by what you're talking about. When we need to mention both nouns, what structure do we follow? More...
Article of the Day

Vajra

The Vajra is a ritual object that holds a symbolic significance to Buddhists and Hindus. The scepter-like implement, whose name means both "thunderbolt" and "diamond" in Sanskrit, is said to have the ability to cut through ignorance like a thunderbolt and be indestructible like a diamond. In Buddhist rituals, it is often employed in conjunction with a bell in order to achieve enlightenment. In Hindu mythology, the vajra is the weapon of the god Indra and is said to be made of what? More...
This Day in History

"Baby Jessica" Falls Down a Well (1987)

Though she is now 27 years old and has kids of her own, Jessica McClure is still known to most Americans as "Baby Jessica." At 18 months old, McClure fell into an 8-inch (20-cm) wide well in Midland, Texas. The 58-hour rescue effort captivated the country. For those few days, in the words of US President Ronald Reagan, "everybody in America became godfathers and godmothers of Jessica." Donations poured in from those moved by the child's plight. What were the physical ramifications of her ordeal? More...
Today's Birthday

Hannah Arendt (1906)

Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt fled Germany for France and then the US following Hitler's rise to power in 1933. Her reputation as a scholar and writer was firmly established with the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism, which linked Nazism and Communism to 19th-century imperialism and anti-Semitism. Her next major publication, The Human Condition, likewise received wide acclaim. What controversial concept did she put forth in her Eichmann in Jerusalem? More...
Quotation of the Day
Riot, n.: A popular entertainment given to the military by innocent bystanders.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

be smashed to smithereens

To be broken apart or otherwise destroyed into tiny, fragmentary pieces. "Smithereens," first appearing in English in 1829 as "smiddereens," is likely derived from the Irish word "smidirín" or "smidiríní," meaning "fragment." More...
Today's Holiday

Boone Festival (2018)

Held annually in Barbourville, Kentucky, this festival honors the frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820), who in 1775 carved a trail through the Appalachian Mountains from eastern Tennessee to the Ohio River. An important part of the festival is the signing of the Cherokee Cane Treaty, which provides the Cherokee people with cane that they use to make baskets. Other festival events include an old-fashioned barbecue featuring pioneer and American-Indian foods, a long-rifle shoot, and competitions such as hog-calling, wood-chopping, and fiddling. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: waist

drop waist - One that has the seam at the hips, rather than the waist. More...

blouse - First a garment, usually belted at the waist, worn by peasants or workmen. More...

midriff - Based on the Old English hrif, "belly," it is the front of the body between the chest and the waist. More...

calypso - The style in which a shirt's tails are tied in a knot at the waist. More...

In the News

Massive Hole Appears In Antarctic Ice and Scientists Aren't Sure Why

A vast hole has re-opened in Antarctica, and it could have something to teach us about climate change. Some 40 years after satellites observed a wintertime gap in the ice of the Weddell Sea near the Antarctic Peninsula, the phenomenon has returned; and ... More...
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