Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, August 3, 2016)
Word of the Day

congeries

Definition:(noun) A sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together.
Synonyms:conglomeration, aggregate
Usage: The top floor is devoted to the servants—a congeries of little kitchens and cubicles, used by many as lumber-rooms.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Prepositional Phrases as Adverbs

When a prepositional phrase modifies a verb, adjective, or adverb, it is considered to have the function of an adverb within the sentence. What are these phrases called? More...
Article of the Day

The Derveni Papyrus

The Derveni Papyrus, Europe's oldest surviving manuscript, is an ancient Greek papyrus scroll dating to approximately 340 BCE. Found in Derveni, in northern Greece, in 1962, the scroll is an allegorical commentary on a poem ascribed to the mythic poet Orpheus which discusses the birth of the gods. It begins with the words "Close the doors, you uninitiated," a famous admonition to secrecy. The text was officially published how many years after its discovery in 1962? More...
This Day in History

The National Basketball Association Is Founded (1949)

Prior to 1949, there were two main rival basketball organizations in the US—the National Basketball League, which had been founded in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America, which had been founded nearly a decade later. They merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 and racially integrated the following year. In 1995, the NBA expanded to include two Canadian teams, and in 1996, a women's league was founded. What rule, instituted in 1954, encouraged more shooting? More...
Today's Birthday

Elisha Graves Otis (1811)

By 1852, Otis had already devised several inventions, including a safety brake for trains. While setting up a factory that year, he developed an automatic safety device to prevent heavy machinery from falling if a rope broke while the machinery was being hoisted. The first fail-safe, fall-safe passenger elevator quickly followed. It made possible the construction of skyscrapers, greatly altering the landscape of modern cities. What daring publicity stunt helped launch sales of Otis's elevators? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Idiom of the Day

keep a cool head

To maintain a calm demeanor and think clearly in a difficult, stressful, or troubling situation. More...
Today's Holiday

Shravana Putrada Ekadashi (2017)

The Hindu Ekadashi, or 11th-day fast, known as Putrada Ekadashi is observed primarily by parents who want to produce a son. A fast is observed, Vishnu is worshipped and meditated upon, and the Brahmans are fed and presented with robes and money. Fasting and piety on this day are believed to ensure the conception of a boy, especially for those who sleep in the same room where Vishnu has been worshipped. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: wonder

admire - Can mean "to wonder at, to be slightly surprised." More...

marvel - Traces to Latin mirabilia, from mirari, "wonder at." More...

nine days' wonder - An old term (c. 1325) for an event or phenomenon that attracts enthusiastic interest for a short while, but is then ignored or forgotten. More...

Wonder Bread - Got its name from a vice president who watched a hot-air balloon race shortly before the bread needed a name—"wonder" is how he described the event and then the bread. More...

In the News

How Dental Floss Became a Thing in the First Place

Those regularly chided by their dentists got good news on Tuesday, as the U.S. government acknowledged something to which TIME had brought attention last year: there is little scientific evidence that flossing your teeth really makes a difference when ... More...
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