Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, June 30, 2016)
Word of the Day

gourmand

Definition:(noun) A lover of good food.
Synonyms:trencherman, glutton
Usage: Because he had a great appreciation for fine cuisine, the gourmand was asked to serve as a judge in the televised cooking contest.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Pronunciation Changes with Nominalization

When creating nouns, there are instances in which, instead of changing a word's spelling, we change where we pronounce a stress on the word's syllables to indicate a shift from a verb to a noun. What is this change known as? More...
Article of the Day

Solomonic Columns

Characterized by their corkscrew-like shaft, Solomonic columns draw their name from the Biblical description of the two columns that famously flanked the entrance to the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, built in the 10th c BCE. According to tradition, that temple was the source of a set of columns brought to Rome by Constantine the Great in the 4th c CE for the original St. Peter's Basilica, where several of the pillars still remain. These columns are now believed to have originally stood where? More...
This Day in History

Mysterious Beast of Gévaudan Kills Its First Victim (1764)

From 1764 to 1767, the people of Gévaudan, France, reported dozens of sightings of a man-eating, wolf-like creature now known as the Beast of Gévaudan. According to many accounts, the beast—consistently described as having large teeth and an immense tail—killed some 100 people, prompting King Louis XV to send hunters to slay it. Some stories say a local hunter shot the beast, possibly with silver bullets. What mythical creature did some suggest was behind the attacks? More...
Today's Birthday

Florence Ballard (1943)

A founding member of The Supremes, Ballard sang on 16 Top 40 hit singles. She was first recruited by future members of The Temptations for a sister group they were forming. Ballard in turn recruited Mary Wilson, whom she had met at a talent show, and Wilson brought in Diana Ross. Disputes over Ballard's role in the trio led Motown Records to release her from the group in 1967, reportedly for "exhaustion." Her solo career failed, and she died in 1976 at age 32 as a result of what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Hope is a leaf-joy, which may be beaten out to a great extension, like gold.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

money pit

A business, possession, or other financial commitment that requires or consumes an increasingly large amount of money, especially more than was first anticipated. More...
Today's Holiday

Joust of the Saracens (La Giostra del Saracino) (2018)

The most famous of the Italian jousting festivals, La Giostra del Saracino originated during the Crusades (11th-13th centuries), when it was used as propaganda to support the fight to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Eight knights representing the four quarters of Arezzo, where the festival takes place, march to the piazza, where an effigy of a Moor or Saracen has been set up. The effigy is armed with a heavy flail, and the knights must try to hit it in the center with their lances without being touched by the flail. The winner is rewarded with a golden lance on behalf of his district. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: leisure

empty - First meant "at leisure, unoccupied," and it could also mean "unmarried." More...

leisure - Based on Latin licere, "be allowed." More...

scholastic - Based on Latin scholasticus, "devote one's leisure to learning." More...

vacation - Coming from Latin vacation/vacatio, from vacare, "to be free, empty; to be at leisure," around 1395, this term entered Old English, meaning "rest and freedom from any activity." More...

In the News

Ranking the Pain of Stinging Insects, From "Caustic" to "Blinding"

Trekking along a mountain in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, entomologist Justin Schmidt came across a nest of the tropical wasp species Polybia simillima, better known as the Fierce Black Polybia Wasp. The agile, buzzing insect has a reputation for ... More...
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