Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 14, 2016)
Word of the Day

morass

Definition:(noun) A soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot.
Synonyms:quagmire, mire, quag
Usage: The path from the wood leads to a morass, and from thence to a ford, which, as the rains have abated, may now be passable.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Personal Pronouns - Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used when someone or something is both the subject and the object of the same verb—i.e., when both performing and receiving the action. What are the nine reflexive pronouns? More...
Article of the Day

Psychoactive Toads

The subjects of rumor and urban legend since the 1970s, psychoactive toads are toads from which hallucinogenic, mind-altering substances such as 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin can be derived. The presence of such substances may produce psychoactive effects in persons who smoke the toad skin or venom. However, contrary to popular myth, there is no evidence that hallucinatory effects can be achieved by licking the toads. In what country have dogs begun to pursue the toads? 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
He did each single thing, as if he did nothing else.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

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

A Friend for Pluto: Astronomers Find New Dwarf Planet in Our Solar System

Scientists in Michigan have found a new dwarf planet in our solar system. It's about 330 miles across and some 8.5 billion miles from the sun. It takes 1,100 years to complete one orbit. But one of the most interesting things about the new object, known for ... More...
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