Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, November 10, 2015)
Word of the Day

soapbox

Definition:(noun) A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it.
Synonyms:dais, podium, pulpit, rostrum, stump, ambo
Usage: The author ascended the soapbox and began to read from his latest novel.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Primary Auxiliary Verbs

The "primary" auxiliary verbs are "be," "have," and "do"—they occur most commonly in English. What is the emphatic "do"? More...
Article of the Day

Airbag Safety Systems

Automotive airbag inflation occurs only milliseconds after crash sensors detect a collision. The airbag's cushioning effectively prevents direct human impact with dangerous vehicular surfaces and reduces the deceleration passengers experience as they come to a stop. While airbags were initially viewed as an alternative to seatbelts, they are now understood to offer greater protection when used in conjunction with other automotive safety methods. What injuries may result from airbag deployment? More...
This Day in History

Mary Anderson Patents the Windshield Wiper (1903)

Today we take for granted the fact that we are able to flip a switch and clear our windshields of precipitation or debris, but this was not always the case. Early drivers were forced to manually clear their windshields of snow, rain, dirt, and the like, that is, until Mary Anderson invented the first effective windshield wiper system. It was not long before windshield wipers were standard equipment on American cars. What inspired Anderson to invent a windshield-clearing device? More...
Today's Birthday

Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433)

Charles the Bold was the last of the great dukes of Burgundy. An opponent of Louis XI of France, Charles sought independence for Burgundy and had great success casting off French rule, extending Burgundy's possessions and building a centralized government until he was defeated and killed in battle against the Swiss. Prior to his death, he arranged for his daughter to marry the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. How did this pairing affect the course of European history? More...
Quotation of the Day
An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

a sore loser

Someone who complains, becomes upset, or otherwise reacts very negatively when he or she fails or loses at something competitive. More...
Today's Holiday

Martinsfest (2018)

Martin's Festival in Germany honors both St. Martin of Tours and Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologian and leader of the Protestant Reformation. In Düsseldorf, a man dressed as St. Martin rides through the streets followed by hundreds of children. Many carry lanterns made from hollowed-out pumpkins. In Erfurt, where Martin Luther attended the university, there is a procession of children carrying lanterns. With their lanterns the children form the "Luther rose," or the escutcheon of Martin Luther. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: stairway

half-pace - A broad step or small landing between two half flights in a staircase. More...

companionway - A stairway or ladder from a deck to the cabin below. More...

staircase - A stairway does not necessarily have a handrail or balustrade—but a staircase does. More...

newel - The main post at the bottom of a banister or stairway. More...

In the News

This Rare Illness Makes People Think They're Dead

Esmé Weijun Wang came to the remarkable conclusion that she was dead. In the weeks prior to this, she had begun to feel increasingly fractured — like being scatterbrained, but to such an extreme that she felt her sense of reality was ... More...
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