Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, November 20, 2015)
Word of the Day

virgule

Definition:(noun) A punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information.
Synonyms:separatrix, solidus, slash, diagonal, stroke
Usage: Because the poem was reproduced in block text, virgules were used to indicate where the lines had originally been separated.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Mitigators

Mitigators are adverbs or adverbials that modify adjectives and adverbs to reduce their intensity, making them seem less extreme or powerful. What is the difference between mitigators and intensifiers? More...
Article of the Day

Olfaction

The organs of smell are confined to a small area in the roof of the nasal cavity. Olfactory cells are stimulated when certain molecules reach them, and nerve fibers extend from these receptor cells to the olfactory bulb in the human brain. Smell is one of our most subtle senses, amplifying the sense of taste and detecting tens of thousands of distinct scents. Odor information is easily stored in long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. Why might this be? More...
This Day in History

Microsoft Windows 1.0 Is Released (1985)

Though Microsoft announced its new operating system in the fall of 1983, it was not ready for release until two years later, and the long delay led critics to label the product "vaporware." Even after Windows 1.0 finally hit the market, it was not particularly popular. Still, Windows was more user-friendly than the spare MS-DOS upon which it was built, and it allowed users to multitask. Two years later, it was superseded by Windows 2.0. When did Microsoft finally stop supporting Windows 1.0? More...
Today's Birthday

Alistair Cooke (1908)

Cooke was a British-American journalist and broadcaster. To British audiences, he was famous for his lively and insightful interpretations of American life and culture. His weekly Letter from America, which aired for 58 years, was one of the longest-running programs in radio. To American television audiences, he was the epitome of the elegant English gentleman, hosting public television's Masterpiece Theater for 20 years. After he died, his bones were stolen and used for what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Towns are excrescences, gray fluxions, where men, hurrying to find one another, have lost themselves.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

a stab in the back

A betrayal; an act of treachery. More...
Today's Holiday

Opening of the Underground Caves Day (2017)

The end of World War II is marked annually by the people of Butaritari Island (northern islands of the independent republic of Kiribati). Each year, they open the caves that were built to shelter them during WWII. Accompanied by a celebration, the event takes place on the anniversary of the day the caves initially were opened after the war ended in 1945. The event's main activities take place in Ukiangang village on Butaritari Island, featuring singing, dancing, feasting, and indoor and outdoor games. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: vegetable

rareripe - Originally simply a fruit or vegetable that ripened early. More...

fruit, vegetable - Fruit is the name given to those plants that have an ovary used for food; vegetable is the name given to a large category of herbaceous plants with parts used for food. More...

sauerbraten, sauerkraut - In German, sauerbraten is literally "sour roast meat," and sauerkraut is "sour cabbage or vegetable." More...

sweet potato, yam - The sweet potatoes and yams sold in most stores are the same vegetable—sweet potatoes are inside every mislabeled yam can; true yams are not sold anywhere except a handful of specialty grocers. More...

In the News

These Slimy Deep-Sea Worms Are Surprisingly Close Cousins to Humans

People have more in common with deep-sea worms than one might suspect. Over 500 million years ago, humans and certain worms shared a common ancestor, and people still share thousands of genes with the worms, said scientists who recently sequenced genomes ... More...
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