Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, June 11, 2015)
Word of the Day

blithe

Definition:(adjective) Carefree and lighthearted.
Synonyms:lighthearted, lightsome
Usage: The blithe young couple was a pleasant sight to see.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Aspects of the Present Tense

The present tense is combined with four traditional aspects to form the structures that are known as the present simple, the present continuous (or present progressive), the present perfect, and the present perfect continuous. Although these structures are generally taught as individual "tenses" of verbs, what are they are actually? More...
Article of the Day

Robben Island

Robben Island is a mile-wide island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Stone-age people lived there thousands of years ago when sea levels were lower and the area was easily accessible. Starting in the late 17th century, the island was used to isolate lepers and, later, political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela, who was held there from 1964 to 1982. In the 1600s, a ship laden with millions of dollars worth of gold sank off the island's coast. Why has no one recovered the treasure? More...
This Day in History

The Le Mans Disaster (1955)

The legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race was created in 1923, when cars' top speeds hovered around 60 mph (97 km/h). Thirty years later, top speeds had more than tripled, with little change to the course. In the 1955 race, a narrow pass near the pit stop caused racer Pierre Levegh to hit another car from behind while traveling at about 150 mph (240 km/h). Levegh's Mercedes went airborne, and parts flew into the stands, killing Levegh and more than 80 spectators. Why did the race continue? More...
Today's Birthday

Gene Wilder (1933)

Wilder was just 8 years old when his ailing mother's doctor urged him to try making her laugh. The boy took those words to heart and developed a passion for performing that eventually led him to Hollywood. He is best known for his roles in comedy classics like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein. He cowrote the latter film with producer and director Mel Brooks, and their screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award. Which film sequel's script beat them out? More...
Quotation of the Day
I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Idiom of the Day

meatball surgery

Battlefield surgery that is performed hastily so as to quickly stabilize a patient and prevent his or her imminent death. Popularized (and possibly coined) by H. Richard Hornberger in his semi-autobiographical novel M*A*S*H, which focused on doctors serving in a fictional mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean War. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Queen's Birthday (Australia, except for the Western state) (2018)

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, but her birthday is officially observed in June by proclamation each year. But in Australia, Queen's Birthday is a national holiday celebrated on the second Monday in June (except Western Australia). It was first observed there in 1788, not long after the country was settled. June 4, the birthday of King George III, was set aside at that time as a holiday for convicts and settlers. After George V died in 1936, a date close to his birthday (June 3) was set aside to honor the reigning king or queen. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: rigging

rig, rigging - A ship's rig is the arrangement of masts, sails, etc.; the rigging is the system of ropes or chains supporting these. More...

spread-eagle - First described a navy man who was lashed to the rigging for flogging. More...

furniture - The furniture of a ship is its apparel, including the sails, rigging, and anchor; to apparel, in early use, meant "make ready or fit." More...

tight ship - Literally one in which ropes and rigging are tied and taut. More...

In the News

Could This New Technology Put a Stop to Drunk Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently unveiled new advanced alcohol detection technology that could prevent drunk drivers from operating a vehicle. At a press conference in Washington this past week, NHTSA Administrator ... More...
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