Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, August 26, 2017)
Word of the Day

mesa

Definition:(noun) A broad, flat-topped elevation with one or more clifflike sides, common in the southwest United States.
Synonyms:table
Usage: They scaled forest-clad heights until they emerged on a naked mesa.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Infinitives as Non-Finite Verbs

An infinitive is the most basic form of a verb. It is "unmarked" (which means that it is not conjugated for tense or person), and it is preceded by the particle "to." Infinitives are also known as non-finite verbs. What does that mean? More...
Article of the Day

The Batavia

Though the shipwreck of the Batavia, a Dutch East India Company ship that ran aground on its maiden voyage in 1628, was fairly uneventful, the mutiny and massacre that took place among its survivors earned the Batavia a lasting place in history. While stranded on islands near the Western Australian coast, several mutineers persuaded their followers to kill 125 people as part of a plot to hijack the rescue ship they hoped would find them. What happened when the rescue party arrived? More...
This Day in History

Bomb Delivered to Harvey's Resort Hotel (1980)

After losing a substantial amount of money gambling at Harvey's Resort Hotel in Stateline, Nevada, John Birges devised a plan to recoup his losses. On August 26, 1980, he planted a bomb containing nearly 1,000 pounds (453 kg) of dynamite at the casino. His attempt to extort millions of dollars failed, but so did efforts to disarm his sophisticated, tamper-proof bomb. The resulting explosion destroyed much of the casino on August 27. No one was injured. How did experts try to disarm the bomb? More...
Today's Birthday

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, AKA Mother Teresa (1910)

In 1927, 17-year-old Agnes Bojaxhiu left her native Macedonia and became a Catholic nun in India, changing her name to Teresa. She never saw her family again. Her decades of devoted charity to the poor earned her global recognition and a 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. Though she was a prominent religious figure, she suffered from a crisis of faith that lasted decades. Since her death in 1997, she has rapidly progressed toward being declared a saint. Why was an exorcism once performed on Mother Teresa? More...
Quotation of the Day
But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC)

Idiom of the Day

honorable mention

A recognition or citation of merit given to a contestant, exhibition, entry, etc., in a competition despite that person or thing not being awarded a prize or top honor. Primarily heard in US. More...
Today's Holiday

Fuji-Yoshida Fire Festival (2020)

Climbing Mount Fuji is such a popular sport in Japan that the season has a formal opening and closing. It begins on July 1 and ends with a fire festival in the city of Fujiyoshida on or near the evening of August 26. Huge torches more than 10 feet high are set up along the streets, and families pile up firewood in front of their houses. At about 5 p.m., two portable shrines are brought down from the mountain and carried through the main street of Fujiyoshida. About an hour later, all the torches and family bonfires are lit simultaneously, and the flames continue long past midnight. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: strings

belly - In the violin family, the top surface of an instrument, across which the strings are placed. More...

spaghetti - Naming pastas for everyday things is an Italian tradition, as in spaghetti, which means "strings." More...

plectrum - Originally a device for tightening the strings of a harp, it is now the piece used to pluck a guitar's strings; its plural is plectrums or plectra. More...

puppet, marionette - The word puppet originally meant "doll," and a puppet usually goes on the hand and arm, while a marionette (or string puppet) is a jointed figure with strings or wires. More...

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