Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, October 1, 2015)
Word of the Day

villein

Definition:(noun) A person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord.
Synonyms:helot, serf
Usage: The novel told the story of a young villein who fell in love with the daughter of his feudal lord.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Prepositional Phrases

A prepositional phrase is made up of at least a preposition and its object, which can be a noun, pronoun, or a noun phrase. What is an adjectival prepositional phrase? More...
Article of the Day

The Eye

The eye is an organ of vision and light perception. In the human eye, the iris diaphragm regulates the size of the pupil, allowing more or less light to enter the eye as necessary. Light is focused by the combined action of the curved cornea, internal fluids, and lens. When light reaches the retina, located at the back of the eye, the light-sensitive rod and cone cells are stimulated. They, in turn, send signals to the brain via the optic nerve. How do the rods and cones differ in function? More...
This Day in History

Siemens & Halske Telegraph Construction Company Is Founded (1847)

Siemens AG is Europe's largest engineering conglomerate. It was originally founded to build telegraph installations, but under Werner Siemens and his three brothers, it expanded to produce cables, telephones, electric power, and electric lighting. The company built the first long-distance telegraph line in Europe, followed by the monumental Indo-European telegraph line that stretched from Calcutta, India, to London, England. What scandal tainted the company's reputation in the 1940s? More...
Today's Birthday

Bonnie Parker (1910)

Bonnie Parker was the female half of the notorious Depression-era criminal duo "Bonnie and Clyde." She met Clyde Barrow in 1930 and soon became his lover as well as his partner in crime. In 1932, the pair began a 21-month crime spree—which ended when they were killed in a police ambush—that involved robberies, shootouts, and murders. Their activities were widely publicized, and they soon became America's most famous and romanticized outlaws. How did Bonnie and Clyde allegedly meet? More...
Quotation of the Day
Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.

Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

Idiom of the Day

scare (someone) silly

To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so severely as to cause him or her to lose his or her mind.) More...
Today's Holiday

International Day of Older Persons (2018)

The United Nations General Assembly decided to set aside October 1 as International Day for the Elderly in 1990 (later designated as the International Day of Older Persons). By designating a day when governments are supposed to focus on what they can do to provide for the elderly, the U.N. hopes not only to forestall problems related to the aging of the population but to focus attention on the promise that a maturing population holds for social undertakings. The United Nations also set aside the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: prize

athlete - Derived from Greek athlon, "prize" or "contest"—which also gives us triathlon (etc.); it should be pronounced ATH-leet—with two syllables, not three. More...

cakewalk - Started out as a competitive dance whose winner got a cake as a prize. More...

premium - First meant "prize, reward." More...

taking the cake - Once meant literally winning the prize of a cake, awarded in a cakewalk. More...

In the News

Tiniest Snail Ever Found Could Fit Through a Needle's Eye 10 Times

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Who knows? But 10 Angustopila dominikae snails can fit within the eye of a needle. The newly discovered snail species, found in China, may be the world's smallest land snail. The height of its shell is ... More...
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