Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, November 15, 2017)
Word of the Day

smorgasbord

Definition:(noun) A varied collection.
Synonyms:assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, mixture, motley, potpourri, salmagundi, variety
Usage: The conference panel was comprised of a veritable smorgasbord of religious leaders promoting peace, unity, and understanding.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Prepositions and Indirect Objects

Some transitive verbs are able to take both direct objects and indirect objects (people or things that receive the direct object of the verb). If a verb is capable of taking an indirect object, that person or thing appears immediately after the verb and before the direct object. We can also place it after the direct object with the preposition "to," in which case it is no longer a true indirect object but what? More...
Article of the Day

Bomb-Sniffing Rats

The Gambian pouched rat, with its superb sense of smell and tractable personality, has been used recently to locate land mines in its native Africa. Trained from a young age to associate the smell of explosives with a reward, the rodents learn to alert their handlers to the presence of mines. There are several advantages to using rodents rather than dogs in such operations, among them the fact that they are fairly small and thus rarely cause mines to detonate. Why has the US banned their import? More...
This Day in History

First of Two Istanbul Bombings (2003)

In a pair of dual truck bomb attacks carried out days apart in Istanbul, Turkey, terrorists took the lives of over 50 people and injured some 700. The first attack targeted two synagogues during Sabbath services. A truck bomb was detonated at each, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. Five days later, suicide bombers detonated truck bombs at Istanbul's HSBC Bank headquarters and British consulate. What country handed over to Turkey 22 suspects who reportedly fled there after the attacks? More...
Today's Birthday

John I "the Posthumous" of France (1316)

For the five days he lived, John I, son of Louis X, was king of France. He thus had the shortest reign of any recognized French king. Because his uncle, Philip V, succeeded him, rumors swirled that Philip had caused John's death. Another story claimed that a dying child had been substituted for John, who was then raised in Siena. In the mid-1300s, a Sienese man named Giannino di Guccio began claiming that he was John I and traveled through Europe seeking recognition. What happened to him? More...
Quotation of the Day
Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

give (someone) the stink eye

To make a facial expression of unreserved disgust, contempt, disapproval, distrust, or general ill will toward someone. More...
Today's Holiday

Shichi-Go-San (2018)

Shichi-Go-San is an ancient Japanese celebration that marks the special ages of seven, five, and three. It has long been traditional for families to take girls aged seven, boys of five, and all three-year-olds to the neighborhood Shinto shrine. There they are purified, and the priest prays for their healthy growth. Afterwards, there are often parties for the children, and they are given a special pink hard candy, called "thousand-year candy," to symbolize hopes for a long life. Because Nov. 15 is not a legal holiday, families now observe the ceremony on the Sunday nearest that date. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: seats

dress circle - So called because it is a circular row of seats at an entertainment, the spectators of which are expected to be in dress clothes. More...

sedile - A seat by the altar for a member of the church clergy. More...

tandem - From Latin, literally "eventually, at length," and then, metaphorically, "acting conjointly"; in the 1880s, it was transferred from a two-horse carriage to a bicycle with two seats, one behind the other. More...

circus - Latin for "ring," its first use was for the arena of Roman antiquity, an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent. More...

In the News

Dinosaurs would have survived if asteroid hit Earth elsewhere, scientists claim

When the cosmos shoots pool, it plays for keeps. It sunk a six-mile-wide rock in our pocket of the solar system 66 million years ago. The smack of the asteroid against Earth released energy on the order of billions of atomic bombs. Dinosaurs were the ... More...
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