Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, April 2, 2019)
Word of the Day

demitasse

Definition:(noun) Small cup of strong black coffee without milk or cream.
Synonyms:cafe noir
Usage: He began to frequent another cafe, where more newspapers were taken and his postprandial demitasse cost him a penny extra.
Daily Grammar Lesson

The Anticipatory "It"

There are a number of other situations where "it" can be used as a dummy pronoun, without pertaining to weather, distance, or time. What is the anticipatory "it"? More...
Article of the Day

Ziusudra

According to some ancient sources, Ziusudra was the last king of Sumer prior to the deluge described in the Sumerian flood myth. The earliest version of this myth, recorded in cuneiform on a tablet in the 17th century BCE, recounts how the hero, Ziusudra, survives the flood and is rewarded with immortality. His story is quite similar to biblical accounts of Noah and to the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, which features a hero named Utnapishtim. What is the meaning of the name "Ziusudra"? More...
This Day in History

Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (1979)

Known as the "biological Chernobyl," the accidental release of anthrax at a Russian military facility in Sverdlovsk—now Yekaterinburg—roughly 900 mi (1,450 km) east of Moscow, sickened and killed around 100 people. The exact number of victims remains unknown because, as part of the Soviet government's cover-up of the incident, which it blamed on tainted meat, all of the victims' medical records were destroyed. What fortuitous weather condition likely prevented a much greater loss of life? More...
Today's Birthday

Giacomo Casanova (1725)

Although his name is now synonymous with philandering playboys, Casanova was initially a man of the church. Expelled from an Italian seminary for scandalous conduct, he was later denounced as a magician and imprisoned. He escaped and traveled widely before becoming a spy for Venetian inquisitors. His huge autobiography, first published in 12 volumes, paints a vivid picture of 18th-century Europe and established his reputation as a seducer. He spent his last years in what rather tame occupation? More...
Quotation of the Day
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Idiom of the Day

like rats abandoning a sinking ship

With great haste and having only personal well-being in mind. (Typically said of people who begin abandoning something or someone that is failing or about to fail.) More...
Today's Holiday

International Children's Book Day (2021)

This day, which is observed by countries all over the world, is held on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2, because the Danish author's stories have been favorites among children of all nationalities. Celebrations include contests in which children illustrate their favorite books. Every two years the International Board on Books for Young People sponsors the Hans Christian Andersen medals, which are awarded to a children's book author and a children's book illustrator for their contributions to children's literature. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: lapis lazuli

azure stone - Another name for the lapis lazuli. More...

lapis lazuli - A sky-blue semiprecious stone, it is pronounced lap-us-LAY-zuh-lee. More...

sapphire - From Greek sappheiros, "lapis lazuli" or "blue stone." More...

ultramarine - First a blue pigment made from lapis lazuli, imported from Asia by sea, so, in Latin, it was ultramarinus, "beyond the seas." More...

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