Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, September 29, 2015)
Word of the Day

variola

Definition:(noun) An acute, highly infectious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus and characterized by high fever and aches with subsequent widespread eruption of pimples that blister, produce pus, and form pockmarks.
Synonyms:smallpox
Usage: We could tell from the scars on the faces of the villagers that a variola epidemic had passed through the area in their lifetimes.
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

Extreme Ironing

The sport of extreme ironing, in which people take an iron and ironing board to a remote location and perform the typically mundane household chore in an extreme setting, was developed by Englishman Phil Shaw in 1997. Shaw's 1999 international tour promoted the activity, which, according to the official website, is "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt." In what adventurous settings has it been done? More...
This Day in History

CERN Is Founded (1954)

Abbreviated as CERN after the original French name, the European Organization for Nuclear Research is the world's largest particle physics laboratory. CERN's activities are sponsored by 20 European countries. It was there that the World Wide Web—developed to promote scientific collaboration by facilitating information sharing—was invented in the 1990s. CERN's latest project, the Large Hadron Collider, is, among other things, being used to discover the hypothesized Higgs boson, which is what? More...
Today's Birthday

László Bíró (1899)

Frustrated by the way his fountain pen's sharp tip would tear paper and by the amount of time he wasted filling the pen with ink and cleaning up smudges, László Bíró set to work developing a better pen. A Hungarian newspaper editor, he noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly and without smudging, but it was too viscous for use with existing pens. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed the modern ballpoint pen. How long did it take him to build his pen? More...
Quotation of the Day
When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions, if they are so to be called, will be the same.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

Idiom of the Day

curb appeal

The external attractiveness of a building or property, such as can be viewed from the street (i.e., the curb). More...
Today's Holiday

Las Cantaderas (2019)

The Fiesta de Las Cantaderas, held in the town of León, Spain, dates back to a time when parishes were required to contribute young girls as an annual tribute to the Moors. When the king of León finally freed the population of this burden, the girls sang and danced in the streets to celebrate. These days the cantaderas form a parade, starting at the town hall. They dance and sing their way down the street, directed by a woman called the sotadera. The girls bear fruit baskets or other offerings, which they later give to the bishop. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: silent

tacit - One of its early meanings was "wordless, noiseless," from Latin tacere, "be silent." More...

reticent - Based on Latin tacere, combined with re-, an intensive prefix. More...

silent - From Latin silere, "be silent." More...

mumchance - To be mumchance is to be dumbstruck and silent. More...

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