Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, January 13, 2017)
Word of the Day

paling

Definition:(noun) A fence made of upright pickets.
Synonyms:picket fence
Usage: Between it and Judge Driscoll's house there was only a grassy yard, with a paling fence dividing the properties in the middle.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Ellipses

An ellipsis is a series of three consecutive periods known as ellipsis points ( . . . ) used to indicate where words have been omitted from quoted text. When are brackets placed around ellipses? More...
Article of the Day

Cortisol

Often referred to as the "stress hormone" because of its involvement in the body's stress response, cortisol is the principal steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels and can act as an immunosuppressant. Hydrocortisone, or synthetic cortisol, is used to treat a number of conditions, including inflammation, allergies, collagen diseases, and adrenocortical insufficiency. In humans, cortisol levels peak at what time of day? More...
This Day in History

Black Friday Fires in Victoria, Australia (1939)

One of Australia's worst natural disasters took place in January 1939, when bushfires broke out in the state of Victoria. Over the course of several days, fires burned nearly 5 million acres of land, killing 71 people, destroying thousands of homes and businesses, and ravaging entire towns. An extremely hot and dry summer had preceded the fires, and the day they broke out, temperatures in Melbourne soared to a record 114.1 °F (45.6 °C). How long was it before the city had a hotter day than that? More...
Today's Birthday

Sophie Tucker (1884)

Tucker was a Russian-born American singer and entertainer who began performing vaudeville as a child, singing ragtime melodies in blackface. She later abandoned the makeup but continued in the African-American style, helping popularize the songs of black composers. Known for her racy songs, she enjoyed great success on tour and went on to appear in several stage and movie musicals but was best known as a nightclub torch singer. In her later years, she was billed under what moniker? More...
Quotation of the Day
I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Idiom of the Day

a (real) frog-choker

A particularly heavy or torrential downpour of rain. (Chiefly heard in the southern United States.) More...
Today's Holiday

Mela Maghi (2019)

Guru Gobind Singh and his Khalsa, a defense militia of "soldier-saints" he formed, were attacked by the Mughal army at Anandpur. It is said that 40 of his close followers joined the Guru at Muktsar, where they gave their lives in the Battle of Muktsar in December 1705. Maghi is a day for honoring these men, who are now known as the Forty Immortals. Sikhs in India and elsewhere observe the holiday by visiting their local gurdwara (house of worship) and listening to the recitation of sacred hymns. The observance is particularly solemn at Muktsar, where the slaughter occurred. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: measuring

cord - An amount of wood containing 128 cubic feet (4x4x8 feet); the name comes from the old practice of measuring a stack of firewood with a cord of a certain length. To cord is to stack or put up wood in cords. More...

drosometer - An instrument for measuring the amount of dew on a surface. More...

isometric - From Latin isus, "equal," and -metria, "measuring." More...

Mach - The scale measuring the speed of an object or fluid relative to the speed of sound is named for philosopher/physicist Ernst Mach (1838-1916), who researched thermodynamics; Mach is the ratio of the speed of something to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium. More...

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