Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, January 30, 2015)
Word of the Day

blandishment

Definition:(noun) Flattery intended to persuade.
Synonyms:cajolery, palaver
Usage: Not even his favorite daughter's blandishment could persuade him to submit to her whims.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Prepositions with Verbs

Certain verbs require prepositions in order to connect to their sentences’ objects. These combinations are also known as prepositional verbs. How do prepositional verbs differ from phrasal verbs? More...
Article of the Day

Depression Glass

Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed throughout the US during the Great Depression era of the 1920s and 30s. During that time, the Quaker Oats Company began putting glassware in boxes of food as an incentive to purchase, much like modern cereal box prizes. Movie theaters and businesses sometimes offered pieces simply for coming in the door. Though of marginal quality, Depression glass has become highly collectible. In what colors was it made? More...
This Day in History

First Attempted Assassination of a US President (1835)

US President Andrew Jackson was leaving a congressional funeral held at the Capitol when an unemployed, mentally ill housepainter named Richard Lawrence made an attempt on his life. Fortuitously, Lawrence's pistol misfired. Improbably, the second pistol he produced did too. The 67-year-old president attacked Lawrence with his cane, and the deranged gunman was caught and institutionalized. What surprising discovery was made when the guns were tested to determine what had caused them to misfire? More...
Today's Birthday

Richard Brautigan (1935)

Born in Tacoma, Washington, and raised in abject poverty, Brautigan became a counterculture hero of the 1960s and 70s with his surrealistically random novels and poems about alienation. His extremely original, loosely connected fiction includes A Confederate General from Big Sur, In Watermelon Sugar, and the 1967 bestseller Trout Fishing in America. Suffering from alcoholism and depression, Brautigan committed suicide in September of 1984. When was his body discovered? More...
Quotation of the Day
One always tends to overpraise a long book because one has got through it.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

loose change

A small, usually insignificant amount of money, typically consisting of coins. More...
Today's Holiday

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Birthday (2018)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was the 32nd president of the United States. His administration encompassed the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt's birthday is observed by family members, friends, and representatives of various organizations at his home at Hyde Park, New York. Wreaths are laid, and a family member places cut flowers on the grave. The superintendent of the military academy presents the "President's Wreath," a prayer is offered, and the event concludes with three volleys from a ceremonial firing squad. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: harmful

catalytic converter - A device with a catalyst for converting pollutant gases into less harmful ones. More...

allergen - Though allergens are not harmful themselves, when they are combined with certain antibodies, a reaction (i.e. the allergy) liberates substances that damage body cells and tissues. More...

intrigant - A person who plots something illicit or harmful. More...

nocuous - Meaning "harmful, noxious," it is based on Latin nocere, "to hurt." More...

In the News

Litvinenko's Autopsy Called "Most Dangerous" Ever

The 2006 autopsy of murdered ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was likely the most dangerous ever conducted, a pathologist told a UK inquiry this week. Litvinenko died of multiple organ failure after drinking tea dosed with polonium-210—a highly radioactive isotope that may have been undetectable post-mortem if police had not taken the unusual move of having him tested by atomic scientists just before he died. During the autopsy, pathologists wore protective suits with hoods fed with filtered air to avoid exposure to radiation. More...
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