Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, December 17, 2017)
Word of the Day

saltation

Definition:(noun) A light, self-propelled movement upwards or forwards.
Synonyms:leaping, bounce, bound, spring
Usage: The kangaroo's effortless saltation was balletic and graceful.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using "Can Do"

In response to a request or an instruction, it is common (especially in American English) to use the idiomatic phrase "can do." This usually stands on its own as a minor sentence. We can also make "can do" negative, by doing what to it? More...
Article of the Day

Sydney Opera House

Distinguished by its roof of white concrete "shells," Australia's Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most distinctive and famous 20th-century buildings. Danish architect Jørn Utzon's design, which was among the first to use computers for structural analysis, was chosen in 1957 from among 233 competition entries from 32 countries. The Opera House was formally completed in 1973 at a cost of $102 million—10 years late and $95 million over budget. Why did Utzon resign from the project in 1966? More...
This Day in History

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers. The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval. Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group. How long was he held captive? More...
Today's Birthday

Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (1706)

The wife of a French marquis, du Châtelet defied convention in both her personal and professional life. She was a mathematician and physicist and wrote a number of scientific treatises as well as a translation of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. She had several extramarital affairs—the most enduring of which was with philosopher and writer Voltaire, who once described her as "a great man whose only fault was being a woman." How did she once think her way out of a gambling debt? More...
Quotation of the Day
Charm and nothing but charm at last grows a little tiresome...It's a relief then to deal with a man who isn't quite so delightful but a little more sincere.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

temper tantrum

An extreme and childish display of unreasonable anger, frustration, or distemper. More...
Today's Holiday

Wright Brothers Day (2018)

It was on the morning of December 17, 1903 that Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first men to fly and control a powered heavier-than-air machine. Events on December 17 traditionally include a "flyover" by military aircraft and a special ceremony held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, a 425-acre area that features a 60-foot granite pylon on top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers' camp was located. The flyover takes place at precisely 10:35 a.m., the time of the original flight in 1903. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: vapor

atmosphere - Derives from Greek atmos, "vapor," and sphaira, "globe," and is literally "ball of vapor." More...

brume, brumous - Brume is a poetic term meaning "mist, fog, or vapor"; brumous means "foggy." More...

damp - The noun first meant "vapor, steam," or "smoke"—especially that which was harmful or noxious. More...

transpire - Had an early sense of "emit as vapor through the surface"—from trans-, "through," and spirare, "breathe." More...

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