Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, December 21, 2017)
Word of the Day

extempore

Definition:(adjective) Spoken, carried out, or composed with little or no preparation or forethought.
Synonyms:ad-lib, extemporaneous, impromptu, off-the-cuff, offhand, offhanded, unrehearsed
Usage: The class performed an extempore skit that condensed the complex plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet into a single, 15-minute act.
Daily Grammar Lesson

The Coordinating Conjunction "Nor"

"Nor" is one of the most limited coordinating conjunctions. It's used to present an additional negative idea when a negative idea has already been stated. When "nor" is used to join two independent clauses, what must be used in the second clause? More...
Article of the Day

Faraday Cages

In 1836, scientist Michael Faraday observed that a charge on a conductor resides only on its surface and does not impact anything enclosed within. To demonstrate this, he coated a room with metal foil, had high-voltage discharges strike its exterior, and showed with an electroscope that no electric charge reached the interior. Today, any container made of a conductor that shields its interior from electric fields is called a Faraday cage. What common modes of transportation act as Faraday cages? More...
This Day in History

Marie and Pierre Curie Discover Radium (1898)

Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie were working with pitchblende, a heavy mineral known to contain the radioactive element uranium, when they noticed something unusual. Somehow, the pitchblende was more radioactive than the uranium it contained. The culprit was radium, a previously unknown element present in pitchblende only in trace amounts—yet more than a million times more radioactive than uranium. What common household products contained radium until it was discovered to be dangerous? More...
Today's Birthday

Cicely Isabel Fairfield, AKA Dame Rebecca West (1892)

One of the most highly regarded British prose writers of the 20th century, West began her career as a journalist for feminist and suffragist publications. She then served as a literary critic and political writer for American and British journals. Her admired reports on the Nuremberg Trials were collected in A Train of Powder, and her history of Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, is a classic work of travel literature. Why did West have to be evacuated from her home in 1980? More...
Quotation of the Day
The latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

have a heavy heart

To have a dejected or miserable attitude or disposition; to be in a depressed or grievous state. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of Juul (2017)

The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the Winter Solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light, and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule (or Juul) log was brought in with great ceremony and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year's log. The present-day custom of lighting a Yule log at Christmas is believed to have originated in the bonfires associated with the Feast of Juul. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: small quantity

fingerfull - A pinch or small quantity. More...

quantulum - A small quantity. More...

dreg - A small remnant or a small quantity. More...

dribs and drabs - First recorded in the 19th century; both of the words mean "small quantity or amount," making this an emphatic phrase. More...

In the News

Can a cup of hot tea every day keep glaucoma away?

Your morning cup of tea may have more power than you thought. Researchers have found that drinking a cup of hot tea at least once a day may lower the risk of developing glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma causes fluid pressure to ... More...
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