Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, January 4, 2018)
Word of the Day

alkali

Definition:(noun) Any of various water-soluble compounds capable of turning litmus blue and reacting with an acid to form a salt and water.
Synonyms:base
Usage: He dropped a piece of litmus paper into an acid, when it changed instantly to red, and on floating it in an alkali it turned as quickly to blue.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are verb phrases that have idiomatic meanings—that is, their meaning is not obvious from the individual words that make up the phrase. What parts of speech typically make up a phrasal verb? More...
Article of the Day

The Microscope

A key tool in laboratories and biology classrooms, the microscope produces enlarged images of small objects. Its inventor is not conclusively known, so it is credited to two people—Zacharias Janssen around 1590 and Galileo around 1610. Probably the best known type is the compound microscope, which consists of an objective lens and an eyepiece and is widely used in the examination of plant and animal cells and bacteria. Who helped popularize the microscope by using it to discover red blood cells? More...
This Day in History

Topsy the Elephant is Executed by Electrocution (1903)

Topsy was a circus elephant at Coney Island's Luna Park. After killing three people—at least one of whom was mistreating her at the time—in as many years, she was deemed a threat and schedule to be put down. After hanging was deemed too cruel an execution method and ruled out, Thomas Edison suggested electrocution in an attempt to further his campaign to portray alternating current electricity as dangerous. Electrocuted with 6,600 volts, Topsy died in seconds. What was "Topsy's Revenge"? More...
Today's Birthday

Jakob Ludwig Carl Grimm (1785)

More than just a compiler of fairy tales, Jacob Grimm was a German philologist who formulated the linguistic principle known as Grimm's law and who, along with his brother Wilhelm, began work on a vast historical dictionary of the German language that took over a century to complete. The Brothers Grimm are best known, however, for their compilation of some 200 German folk tales, known as Grimm's Fairy Tales, that helped establish the science of folklore. How did they collect the stories? More...
Quotation of the Day
Experience, n.: The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

golden duck

In cricket, a batter's score of zero after being dismissed on the very first ball he or she faces. More...
Today's Holiday

Carnival of Blacks and Whites (2020)

The Carnival of Blacks and Whites, held each year in Pasto, Colombia, is one of the oldest Carnival celebrations in South America. The Carnival officially opens on January 4 with a parade commemorating the arrival in Pasto of the Castañeda family, presented as a zany group that includes a pregnant teenaged bride and many misbehaving children. The following day is the Day of the Blacks. Using special paints and cosmetics, revelers paint themselves and their friends black. Festivities continue on January 6 with the Day of the Whites, in which white paints and cosmetics are used. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: official

brevet - An official or authoritative message in writing. More...

provost - Etymologically, an official "placed before" or "put in charge" of others, from Latin praepositus, "superintendent." More...

bailiwick - Comes from bailie, "custody," and -wick, "function of an official" or "place of jurisdiction." More...

probate - The official proving of a will, from Latin probatum, "thing proved." More...

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