Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 26, 2016)
Word of the Day

libelous

Definition:(adjective) Harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign.
Synonyms:calumnious, defamatory, denigrating, libellous, slanderous
Usage: The article, being libelous, had to be returned as impossible; and I had to renounce my dream of dragging its author into the limelight.
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

Dragonflies: The Devil's Darning Needle

Many cultures consider dragonflies sinister creatures, and a number of the common, vernacular names for the flying insects, such as "devil's needle" and "ear cutter," link them with evil or injury. In truth, dragonflies generally do not attack humans and are valued for their predatory control of harmful insect populations. Dragonflies lay eggs in or near water, and most of the dragonfly's life is spent underwater in larval form. In what country are dragonflies considered a delicacy? 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
I distrust Great Men. They produce a desert of uniformity around them and often a pool of blood too, and I always feel a little man's pleasure when they come a cropper.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

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

Ancient Scrolls Give Up Their Secrets

Metallic ink was used to inscribe scrolls regarded as an archaeological wonder, according to scientists. The discovery pushes back the date for the first use of metallic ink by several centuries. The Herculaneum scrolls were buried by the eruption of ... More...
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