Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 26, 2015)
Word of the Day

dilettante

Definition:(noun) A dabbler in an art or a field of knowledge.
Synonyms:sciolist
Usage: He claimed to be serious about his paintings, but he was at heart a mere dilettante.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Personal Pronouns - Gender

Modern English is largely an ungendered language. However, a personal pronoun can be inflected for gender to correspond to the gender of the person. What type of pronouns remain gender-neutral? More...
Article of the Day

Ice Sculpture

Sculpting ice presents a number of difficulties stemming from the material's variability with regard to purity and air content, as well as its tendency to melt. Ice sculptures feature decoratively in some cuisines, especially in Asia, and numerous competitions are held annually around the world where competitors sculpt realistic as well as abstract forms. In Kiruna, Sweden, a hotel made entirely of ice blocks is open from November to May. Where can you visit an ice hotel in North America? More...
This Day in History

Jack Kevorkian Convicted of Second-Degree Murder (1999)

By 1998, Dr. Jack Kevorkian had been prosecuted numerous times—without being convicted—for the deaths of terminally ill patients whose suicides he had admittedly assisted. However, after the TV program 60 Minutes aired a videotape of him administering a lethal injection to a man who was too physically debilitated to commit suicide on his own, Kevorkian was charged with murder. He chose to defend himself in court and was convicted. He was paroled eight years later under what conditions? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753)

A scientist and inventor, Thompson was perhaps the first person to recognize heat as a form of motion, at a time when many believed it to be a substance. He invented various heat-related items, including a double boiler, a drip coffeepot, thermal underwear, and a more efficient fireplace. After he was denied a commission in the Continental Army, Thompson spied for the British in the American Revolution. When he had to flee the country, what particularly notable thing did he leave behind? More...
Quotation of the Day
The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

catch (the) headlines

To be featured on the headlines of news articles, as due to being particularly important, popular, fashionable, etc. More...
Today's Holiday

Seward's Day (2018)

When William Henry Seward, Secretary of State for President Andrew Johnson, signed the treaty authorizing the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia for $7 million on March 30, 1867, most Americans thought he was crazy. But public opinion quickly changed when gold was discovered in the region, and its natural gas, coal, and oil reserves, in addition to its seafood and lumber industries, have proved to be far more valuable than its gold. Unfortunately, Seward did not live to see his foresight commemorated as a legal holiday in the state of Alaska. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: navel

omphalos - From the Greek word meaning "navel"—for the round stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi supposed to mark the center of the earth—it describes the center, heart, or hub of a place, organization, or sphere of activity. More...

omphaloskepsis - Contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation. More...

navel, umbilicus, belly button, omphalodium - The navel is also the umbilicus, belly button, or omphalodium; navel and umbilicus share the same Indo-European root. More...

umbilical - From Latin umbilicus, "navel." More...

In the News

Ili Pika Seen for First Time in Two Decades

The Ili pika, a rare animal with a teddy bear face and bunny-like ears, finally has been found and photographed more than 20 years after it was first discovered. The animal, scientifically known as Ochotona iliensis, was spotted again last summer in the ... More...
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