Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, March 9, 2017)
Word of the Day

preclude

Definition:(verb) Keep from happening or arising; make impossible.
Synonyms:foreclose, forestall, prevent, forbid
Usage: Modesty precludes me from accepting the honor.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Hyphens

A hyphen ( - ) is used primarily to join two or more words to form a new, compound word or to provide clarity when using certain affixes (such as prefixes). What is a hanging hyphen? More...
Article of the Day

Shrunken Heads

The Shuar people of Ecuador and Peru first came to worldwide attention in the 1800s, after Westerners discovered that the group practiced head shrinking. The custom stems from the belief that severing an enemy's head and shrinking it harnesses the person's spirit and compels it to serve the shrinker. Though cultural restrictions limited the manufacture of shrunken heads, Western demand for the macabre artifacts prompted the Shuar to produce them in greater quantities. How does one shrink a head? More...
This Day in History

WWII: Bombing of Tokyo Kills 100,000 (1945)

During WWII, Allied bombing devastated half of Tokyo, destroyed or damaged many famous landmarks, and ruined nearly all of the city's industrial plants. In the US firebombing raid that began on March 9, 1945, nearly 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the Japanese capital, killing roughly 100,000 people and destroying about 16 mi² (41 km²) of the city—making it the most destructive conventional bombing raid in history. How did the destruction compare to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? More...
Today's Birthday

Bobby Fischer (1943)

Fischer was a chess legend who, at the age of 15, became the youngest grandmaster in history at that time. In 1970 and 1971, he won an unprecedented 20 straight games to qualify to challenge Boris Spassky for the world championship. He then beat Spassky, becoming the only American world titlist and winning the lion's share of the $250,000 prize fund that was then the largest purse offered in any sport outside boxing. Afterward, Fischer did not publicly play another game of chess until what year? More...
Quotation of the Day
Compromise, n.: Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

ball the jack

Speed up. Go fast. This phrase came from the American rail industry, in which a train was nicknamed a "jack," while "highball" meant to proceed. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of St. Frances of Rome (2019)

St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440) was a model for housewives and widows. Despite the death of her children, her husband's banishment, and the confiscation of their estates, she continued to nurse the sick and care for the poor. St. Frances's feast day is observed on March 9, the date on which she died. Because she is also the patron saint of motorists, it is customary for Italian drivers to flock to the Colosseum in Rome for the blessing of their cars. Crowds also visit Tor de Specchi and Casa degli Esercizi Pii (formerly her home), whose rooms are opened to the public on this day. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: technique

traffic-calming device - Any device (e.g. a speed bump) or technique on or next to a road that is used to slow or restrict traffic, especially in residential areas. More...

appliance - First was the use or application of a technique, putting a technique into practice. More...

expression marks - The collective term for musical directives, including tempo, volume, technique, phrasing, and mood. More...

martial art - So named for Japanese bu-jutsu (bu + jutsu), "art, technique, skill, craft." More...

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