Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, July 17, 2016)
Word of the Day

discalced

Definition:(adjective) Barefoot or wearing sandals. Used of certain religious orders.
Synonyms:unshod
Usage: When a procession of discalced friars passed through the doors, I wondered if I should remove my shoes.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Spelling Conjugated Verbs

As we've seen already, some verbs take "-s" or "-es" to conjugate for third-person singular subjects. How do we know which ending to add? More...
Article of the Day

Sea Routes of the Ancient World

Before the invention of modern navigational tools, sailors in the ancient world navigated sea routes using periploi, documents that list ports, coastal landmarks, and the approximate distances between them. The Greek Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, dated between the first and third century CE, details navigation and trading opportunities at Roman Egyptian ports on the Red Sea and along the coasts of E Africa and India. According to the document, where is the "Frankincense kingdom"? More...
This Day in History

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: First Docking of Russian and US Spacecrafts (1975)

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first joint flight of the US and Soviet space programs. Its primary purpose was symbolic, to show that the two superpowers were easing the tensions of their Space Race. The two mission commanders exchanged the first international handshake in space through the open hatch of the Soyuz. Though American Deke Slayton had been selected for the Mercury mission in the 1950s, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was his first flight into space. Why did he have to wait? More...
Today's Birthday

Ismail I (1487)

The young Ismail I went into hiding after his father's death and emerged at age 14 to proclaim himself Shah of Iran. Despite his youth, he was able to reunify Iran and establish the Safavid Empire, which remained intact until 1736. Ismail converted Iran from the Sunni to the Shi'a sect of Islam, drawing the ire of Selim I, the Sunni sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who wrote Ismail belligerent letters before invading Iran. Ismail was also a prolific poet who wrote under what pseudonym? More...
Quotation of the Day
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

odd duck

A rather unusual, strange, or peculiar person. More...
Today's Holiday

Alpenfest (2018)

At an altitude of 1,348 feet, Gaylord is one of the highest incorporated communities in Michigan. Gaylord receives nearly 150 inches of snow each year, and the town's annual Alpenfest is a celebration of summer. A highlight of the festival is the "Burning of the Boogg." People write their troubles on slips of paper and place them in the Boogg—a 300-pound, 10-foot-high monster—which is then burned, giving spectators a chance to watch their troubles literally go up in smoke. The festival also boasts a number of outdoor cafes which host "the World's Largest Coffee Break." More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: shot

shot - Referring to a fluid dram of liquor, the term is fairly new, dating to 1928 (PG Wodehouse). More...

deadline - Originally a Civil War term for a line that marked the distance a prisoner could go before being shot on sight. More...

schuss - A straight downhill ski run, it is literally German for "a shot." More...

beside the point - The expression is from ancient archery, and literally means one's shot is wide of the target. More...

In the News

Are Ducks Capable of Abstract Thinking?

Humans might not be such standout thinkers after all. Ducklings just might be capable of abstract thought too. A new study suggests that ducklings can learn, and imprint on, the relationship between objects, beyond just the characteristics of the objects ... More...
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