Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, November 20, 2016)
Word of the Day

sundog

Definition:(noun) A small halo or rainbow near the horizon just off the parhelic circle.
Synonyms:mock sun, parhelion
Usage: The scientists concluded that the sundog's rainbow-like appearance must be the result of the diffraction of light.
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

Cytokine Storms

A cytokine storm is a potentially fatal immune reaction that results from an uncontrolled positive feedback loop between immune cells and cytokines, proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. During an immune response, cytokines prompt immune cells to travel to the site of infection as well as stimulate the production of more cytokines. The body regulates this process, but in some cases it becomes inappropriately elevated. What are the primary symptoms of a cytokine storm? More...
This Day in History

Oil Rig Accidentally Drains Lake Peigneur (1980)

When Leonce Viator, Jr., set out in his boat for a day of fishing on Louisiana's Lake Peigneur, he never imagined he would end up fighting for his life. But that is exactly what happened after an oil rig on the lake's surface accidentally bored through the roof of a salt mine beneath it. Like a bathtub whose plug has been pulled, the lake began draining into the mine, creating a whirlpool that sucked in not just water but barges, trees, and acres of surrounding land. What happened to Viator? More...
Today's Birthday

Selma Lagerlöf (1858)

Lagerlöf was a Swedish author who is best known for her children's book, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. While working as a teacher, Lagerlöf got her big break as a writer when chapters of her first novel, Gösta Berling's Saga, won first prize in a literary contest. Lagerlöf rooted her work in legend in a reaction against contemporary Swedish realism. In 1909, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. What did she do with her medal during World War II? More...
Quotation of the Day
We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

take a bawling out

To receive a very severe rebuke, chastisement, or scolding (from someone). More...
Today's Holiday

Mawlid al-Nabi (Maulid al-Nabi) (2018)

Mawlid al-Nabi celebrates the birth of Muhammed, the founder of Islam. Born in Mecca around 570, he was a shepherd and a trader who began to receive revelations from God when he was 40 years old. Over the next 23 years he not only established a religion but brought an unprecedented political unity to Arab tribes. Muhammad's birth began to be observed as a public holiday about the 12th century. It is celebrated with the recitation of litanies in mosques, and with firecrackers and gift-giving throughout the Middle East and countries with prominent Muslim populations. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: losing

idiot strings - Refers to the strings that attach mittens to prevent a child from losing one. More...

in hock - Can be traced to the card game faro, in which the last card in the box was called the hocketty card; when a player bet on a card that ended up in hock, he was at a disadvantage and was himself in hock and at risk of losing his bets. More...

jeopardy - Comes from French ieu parti, "(evenly) divided game" (from Latin jocus partitus, "divided game"), referring originally to chess, in which the chances of winning and losing are balanced. More...

pain - Originally meant punishment for a crime or offense—sometimes by losing one's head. More...

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