Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, March 13, 2017)
Word of the Day

incantation

Definition:(noun) A ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect.
Synonyms:conjuration
Usage: Hagar, the witch, chanted an awful incantation over her kettleful of simmering toads, with weird effect.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Conditional Verbs

Conditional verbs are used in conditional sentences, which express something that might happen, depending on whether or not a particular condition is met. To denote such a condition, what word is commonly used with one of the verbs in a conditional sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Hadhramaut

The name Hadhramaut formerly referred to the Hadhramaut states, a collective term for the Quaiti and Kathiri sultanates that were British protectorates until 1967. Today, the Hadhramaut region roughly incorporates the territory of the two sultanates, extending about 400 mi (640 km) along the southeastern coast of Yemen. It consists of a narrow, arid coastal plain, a broad plateau, a network of deeply sunk wadis, and an escarpment bordering the desert. What is the origin of the word Hadhramaut? More...
This Day in History

William Herschel Discovers Uranus (1781)

For many years, astronomers mistakenly believed that the planet Uranus, which is sometimes visible to the naked eye, was a star. Herschel, a German-born English astronomer, originally believed that it was a comet. It soon proved to be, indeed, a verifiable planet—the first to be discovered in modern times with the aid of a telescope. The planet was only named Uranus—for the Greek personification of heaven—after the original name of Herschel's choosing proved unpopular. What was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Daniel Lambert (1770)

Lambert is famous for having been recognized, in his own time, as the fattest man in England. An active and athletic youth, he began his dramatic weight gain after taking over his father's job as keeper of a prison in Leicester. Though he initially led a quiet life and was well liked by his prisoners, he eventually—and reluctantly—went on tour. By then, he weighed more than 700 pounds (318 kg), and spectators paid a shilling each to see him. What complication arose when he died at Stamford? More...
Quotation of the Day
A soul that is kind and intends justice discovers more than any sophist.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)

Idiom of the Day

make heavy going of (something)

To make something harder or more laborious to do, especially more than is usual or necessary. More...
Today's Holiday

Kasuga Matsuri (2018)

The Kasuga Shrine in Nara is one of the most beautiful and ancient in Japan. Every year on March 13, a festival is held there with elaborate ceremonies and performances that recall the shrine's heyday. The hiki-uma horse ceremony, where a sacred horse is led in procession through the streets, and the elegant Yamato-mai dance performed by Shinto women are reminiscent of the culture and customs of the Nara and Heian Eras. Construction of the Kasuga Shrine was started during the Nara period (710-784) and was completed in the first years of the Heian period (794-1185). More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: mail

post road - One with a series of post-houses or stations for post-horses; a road on which mail was carried. More...

nixie - Any piece of mail that is unable to be forwarded because it is illegibly or incorrectly addressed. More...

post - Latin posita, "placed," gave us Italian posta, "station on a road," and became French poste, "a station for mail"—from the series of stations that fast horsemen traversed to deliver messages, giving us post, as in "mail system." More...

blackmail - The "mail" in blackmail is Scottish for "tax, tribute," referring to the tribute demanded by rebel chiefs in return for their protection. More...

In the News

The International Space Station May Soon Host the Coolest Place in the Universe

The International Space Station (ISS) will soon host the coldest spot in the entire universe, if everything goes according to plan. This August, NASA plans to launch to the ISS an experiment that will freeze atoms to only 1 billionth of a degree above absolute ... More...
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