Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, May 4, 2015)
Word of the Day

macerate

Definition:(verb) To make soft, usually by steeping in liquid, and cause to disintegrate as a result.
Synonyms:soften
Usage: The stale bread was left to macerate in a bowl of milk for a few hours.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining the Third Conditional

Third conditionals are used to establish a hypothetical situation in the past, followed by a hypothetical outcome that did not really happen. Typically, what is the outcome? More...
Article of the Day

How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

Dry cleaning is the process of cleaning fabrics without water. Special solvents and soaps are used so as not to harm fabrics. The practice began in France in the middle of the 19th century, after a dye-works owner noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it. Early solvents were extremely flammable and led to many fires and explosions. Newer chlorinated hydrocarbon synthetic solvents, such as perchlorethylene, are nonflammable but pose what other dangers? More...
This Day in History

Jesse Tafero's Execution Goes Horribly Wrong (1990)

Accused of the fatal shooting of a Florida Highway Patrol officer and a visiting Canadian constable, Tafero was convicted of murder in 1976 and sentenced to death. His execution by electrocution in 1990 was grisly. Lasting more than 13 minutes, it took three separate jolts of electricity and caused flames to shoot out of his head. Later, the conviction of Tafero's girlfriend—obtained with the same evidence that implicated Tafero—was overturned, and someone confessed to the murders. Who was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke (1916)

An icon of wilderness living, Proenneke spent 30 years residing alone in a log cabin he built by hand in remote Twin Lakes, Alaska. His three decades of solitude there were, in fact, his retirement years. During his stay, he chronicled his daily life, keeping detailed written journals and filming his activities, like the construction of his cabin, as well as wildlife. Proenneke left Alaska in 1998, at age 82, to live out the remainder of his life with family. What has since become of his cabin? More...
Quotation of the Day
It was not that she was out of temper, but that the world was not equal to the demands of her fine organism.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

naff off

A forceful exclamation of dismissal, disdain, or impatience. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia (2018)

The Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia from the USSR is marked as a national public holiday in Latvia every May 4. On that date in 1990, Latvia's Supreme Court re-declared the country a free democratic parliamentary republic. Following a transitional period, full independence was attained on August 21, 1991. Since 1920, Latvia has been acknowledged continuously by other countries as an independent state, despite occupations by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1945, and by the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1941 and 1945 to 1991. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: traffic

filter lane - The lane of traffic reserved for those making a specific turn at the next junction. More...

reverse commute - To travel to work opposite of the normal rush of traffic. More...

traffic calming - The deliberate slowing of traffic in residential areas, with speed bumps or other obstructions. More...

traffic - Can only be traced to Italian traffico and trafficare, "trade," but that is all that is known. More...

In the News

This Beetle's Butt Is Basically a Machine Gun

Ever heard of the bombardier beetle? It's aptly named: When threatened, the beetle doesn't just excrete deadly chemicals. It actually mixes them up in an internal chamber, then fires the reaction off as a near-boiling, high-speed spray from its rear ... More...
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