Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, June 23, 2016)
Word of the Day

extirpate

Definition:(verb) To destroy totally.
Synonyms:eradicate, exterminate, uproot
Usage: The tyrant's first order of business upon assuming power was to extirpate the vestiges of political democracy.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Verbs that Take Both "To" and "At"

Many verbs are able to take multiple prepositions after them. However, this often results in a change in the sentence's meaning. The most common of these pairs is "to" and "at"—a large number of verbs are able to take both. What are some examples? More...
Article of the Day

Chatterbots

If you had a recent conversation with ELIZA, PARRY, A.L.I.C.E., or ELLA, you were talking to a chatterbot, a computer program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with human users through auditory or textual prompts. Though many appear to be interpreting human input before providing a response, most chatterbots simply scan for keywords and pull a similar reply from a database. Some people find these sorts of conversations engaging. What book was allegedly written by a chatterbot? More...
This Day in History

Edgardo Mortara Kidnapped from Jewish Family after Secret Baptism (1858)

Mortara, the son of a Jewish couple living in the Papal States, was secretly baptized Catholic as an infant by a panicked servant during an infantile illness. The baptism was deemed valid by the Catholic Church and, because canon law forbade non-Christians from raising Christian children, Pope Pius IX ordered the six-year-old Mortara to be taken to Rome as his ward. Several countries objected to the pope's decision and called for the boy to be returned to his parents. What became of Mortara? More...
Today's Birthday

Wilma Glodean Rudolph (1940)

Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field in a single Olympic Games. She accomplished this despite having contracted numerous serious illnesses as a child, including polio, which damaged her leg and required her to wear a brace for some time. At the 1960 Games, she won gold in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and as part of the 4x100 meter relay. She finished the 100-meter dash in world-record time but was not credited with the record. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

mission creep

The gradual expansion or widening in scope of a project, action, or task, especially a military operation, beyond its initial goal or objective. More...
Today's Holiday

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Ceremony (2018)

Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle located in Wiltshire, England, is believed to have been built between about 3050 and 1600 BCE. At the Summer Solstice, when viewed from the center of the monument, the sun rises through the entrance and just between two of the large stones. Today, modern Druids and other Neopagans gather at Stonehenge for Summer Solstice ceremonies. Wearing white robes and scarlet hoods, when the first rays of the rising sun shine on the Altar Stone, they walk in procession around the circle, gathering at the Altar Stone to recite prayers and salute the rising sun. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: wire

muselet - The wire that holds a champagne cork in place. More...

reinforced concrete - Has wire or metal bars embedded to increase its tensile strength. More...

down to the wire - Alludes to the imaginary wire at the finish line in a horse race. More...

under the wire - Meaning "just in time," it is also from horse racing. More...

In the News

Rare Newborn Planet May Be the Youngest Ever Detected

A distant, Neptune-size planet 500 light-years from Earth appears to be the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever found crossing its star, raising questions about how it formed so close, so quickly. Researchers first found the planet, which whisks around ... More...
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