Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, October 11, 2017)
Word of the Day

disengage

Definition:(verb) To release from something that holds fast, connects, or entangles.
Synonyms:withdraw
Usage: Fiercely he strove to disengage his weapon, but Hordle John bent his arm slowly back until, with a sharp crack, like a breaking stave, it turned limp in his grasp.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using "To Be"

The verb "to be" is the most common linking verb. It can link the subject to an adjective (known as a "predicative adjective") that describes it, or to a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun that renames it. What are these are collectively known as? More...
Article of the Day

Smokeasies

Just as prohibition in the US led to speakeasies—establishments where alcohol was sold in contravention of the law—so too have smoking bans led to smokeasies—businesses, especially bars, that allow smoking despite a legal prohibition. To combat an expected loss of patrons, many bar owners have chosen to openly allow customers to smoke and regard the fines they incur as a cost of doing business. Others, however, employ stealth tactics to avoid penalties. What are some of their covert methods? More...
This Day in History

The Aleppo Earthquake (1138 CE)

The ancient city of Aleppo was besieged twice by Crusaders in the early 12th century, but little did residents know that worse was yet to come. Located on the boundary between the Arabian and African geologic plates in what is now northern Syria, the city was hit by a small earthquake on October 10, 1138, prompting some residents to flee. The next day, Aleppo was rocked by one of the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history. It destroyed the city and the nearby Crusader citadel. How many died? More...
Today's Birthday

François Mauriac (1885)

The strict Catholic upbringing of Nobel Prize-winning French writer François Mauriac had a profound impact on his literary output. His austere, psychological novels, for which he is best known, often grapple with the problems of sin, grace, and salvation, as exemplified in Vipers' Tangle, his masterpiece. He also wrote polemical works against totalitarianism and fascism in the 1930s, worked with the Resistance during World War II, and later wrote the foreword of what Holocaust memoir? More...
Quotation of the Day
I believe that Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

slanging match

A bitter argument or dispute in which each side hurls numerous insults, accusations, or verbal abuse at one another. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (2018)

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is one of the world's largest gatherings of hot-air balloonists. More than 1,000 balloons, some more than six-stories high, present dizzying colors and designs in the skies of New Mexico for a nine-day fiesta between the first two weekends of October that attracts nearly a million spectators. Besides the daytime ascensions, illuminated balloons light up the night skies. The fiesta also boasts fireworks and food of all sorts. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: rib

costa - A rib or riblike structure. More...

coast - First meant "side of the body," from Latin costa, "flank, rib, side." More...

cutlet - Not based on "cut," but rather on Latin costa, "rib," which later became French costelette, "little rib piece." More...

reef - From Old Norse rif, "rib." More...

In the News

Early Humans Formed Social Networks To Avoid Inbreeding

Even our human ancestors from over 30,000 years ago may have seen the dangers of inbreeding and devised complex social structures to avoid them. Could this explain the survival of some hominin species while the others died out? The mystery of the origins of ... More...
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