Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 31, 2016)
Word of the Day

quixotic

Definition:(adjective) Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.
Synonyms:wild-eyed, romantic
Usage: She is ready prey to any man who knows how to play adroitly either on her affectionate ardor or her quixotic enthusiasm.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Commas

Commas are used to connect two or more elements in a sentence, but the way in which they do this varies widely, depending on what these elements are. What is a comma splice? More...
Article of the Day

Harold "Kim" Philby

Initially a journalist, Philby became a high-ranking member of British intelligence and is believed to have provided the USSR with classified information that caused the deaths of scores of American and British agents. Always in danger of having his cover blown by Soviet defectors, Philby himself defected to the USSR in 1963, after he was exposed as a member of the Cambridge Five spy ring. Philby died in Moscow in 1988. What killed him? More...
This Day in History

The Vandals Invade Gaul (406 CE)

An ancient Germanic tribe that originated in North Jutland, the Vandals began a decades-long migration in the early 5th century. The violent path they cut through Europe made their name synonymous with senseless destruction. Crossing the Rhine in 406 CE, they invaded their first stop, Gaul. The Roman-allied Franks refused to allow them to settle there, so the Vandals devastated the region and kept moving. By the time they sacked Rome in 455 CE, they had established a kingdom of their own—where? More...
Today's Birthday

Henri Matisse (1869)

One of the premier artists of the modern period, Matisse left his law career after taking up painting during an illness in 1890. He explored Impressionism but instead began to use vivid primary color as a structural element. He became a leader of the short-lived Fauvist movement, and by 1909, he had achieved worldwide fame. After 1939, he became increasingly active as a graphic artist. His contribution to 20th-century art is inestimable. Which of his paintings was burned in effigy in 1913? More...
Quotation of the Day
Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.

John Milton (1608-1674)

Idiom of the Day

living impaired

A jocular, pseudo-politically correct term for being dead. More...
Today's Holiday

Omisoka (2017)

Widely celebrated on December 31, Omisoka marks the end of the preparations for New Year's celebrations in Japan. On Omisoka, people wearing kimonos fill the streets as they go to visit shrines. But millions watch the "Red and White Song Contest" on TV. This marathon song festival, first organized in 1950, has become an indispensable ritual of the New Year. The TV show ends shortly before midnight in time for an older tradition: the tolling of the great bells in Buddhist temples at midnight. Priests strike the bells 108 times, a reminder of the 108 human frailties or sins in Buddhist belief. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: horn

bugle - Originally the word for ox, whose horn was used to give signals, it came to mean such a musical instrument. More...

tantara - Fanfare on a trumpet or horn. More...

rhinoceros, rhinoceroses - Rhinoceros comes from Greek rhin-, "nose," and keras, "horn"; the correct plural is rhinoceroses. More...

unicorn - From a Greek wild ox known as monokeros, "one horn," which, in Latin, became unicornis. More...

In the News

Iron 'Jet Stream' Detected in Earth's Outer Core

Scientists say they have identified a remarkable new feature in Earth's molten outer core. They describe it as a kind of "jet stream" - a fast-flowing river of liquid iron that is surging westwards under Alaska and Siberia. The moving mass of metal has ... More...
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