Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, June 5, 2016)
Word of the Day

engram

Definition:(noun) A physical alteration thought to occur in living neural tissue in response to stimuli, posited as an explanation for memory.
Synonyms:memory trace
Usage: The neuroscientist likened engrams in neural tissue to data on the hard drive of a computer.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Identifying Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are verbs that add functional meaning to other "main" verbs in a clause. Auxiliary verbs can be identified by two main criteria. What are they? More...
Article of the Day

Courtship

Observed throughout the animal kingdom, courtship is the practice of wooing a member of the opposite sex with the ultimate goal of mating. Animal courtship may involve complicated dances or touching; vocalizations; or displays of beauty or fighting prowess. Humans, meanwhile, have evolved elaborate courtship rituals involving flowers, gifts, songs, poetry, restaurants, and various displays of affection. How has online dating changed traditional courtship roles? More...
This Day in History

US Secretary of State George Marshall Announces the Marshall Plan (1947)

World War II left the finances and industry of Europe crippled. In 1947, Marshall proposed a plan for the US to finance the European recovery. From 1948 to 1952, it provided almost $13 billion in grants and loans to 17 countries and was a key factor in reviving their economies and stabilizing their political structures. While most of Europe embraced the plan, it was strongly opposed by the Soviet Union and some Eastern European nations. How, according to Marshall, would this plan benefit the US? More...
Today's Birthday

John Couch Adams (1819)

Before the planet Neptune was discovered, Adams—an English astronomer and mathematician—correctly predicted its existence and position based on irregularities in the motion of Uranus. However, the credit for the discovery went to Urbain Leverrier, who had come to the same conclusion later but published his findings earlier. In 1846, the planet was first observed by a German astronomer using Leverrier's calculations. A modest man, Adams also declined to publish what other findings? More...
Quotation of the Day
As long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Idiom of the Day

get in(to) hot water

To provoke or incite anger, hostility, or punishment against oneself; to cause or encounter trouble or difficulty, especially that which will result in punishment or reprisal. More...
Today's Holiday

Nirjala Ekadashi (2017)

Of the 24 Ekadashi or 11th-day fasts observed during the course of the Hindu year, Nirjala Ekadashi is one of the more important. Men and women observe a strict fast and offer puja (worship) to Vishnu to ensure happiness and forgiveness of their sins. Panchamrata is prepared by mixing together milk, ghee (clarified butter), curds, honey and sugar. It is then offered to the image of Vishnu, which has been draped in rich clothing and jewels, with a fan placed beside it. Hindus meditate on Vishnu as the Lord of the Universe and worship the deity with flowers, lamps, water, and incense. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: insignificant

piff - Something insignificant. More...

bee's knees - Used from 1797 for "something insignificant." More...

floccinaucinihilipilification, floccipend - Floccinaucinihilipilification is estimating or categorizing something as worthless, and floccipend means "regard as insignificant" (from Latin flocci pendere, "hold at little value"). More...

piteous, pitiable, pitiful - Piteous is generally not used when speaking of people, pitiable means "able to be pitied," and pitiful most often means "insignificant; below contempt." More...

In the News

Studies of Moth and Butterfly Genes Color in a Scientific Classic

The story of the black peppered moth, which changed colors from Oreo milkshake to dark chocolate during the Industrial Revolution in Britain, is the iconic tale of adaptive evolution taught in science classes. And today its plot thickens: In a study published ... More...
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