Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, December 7, 2016)
Word of the Day

spline

Definition:(noun) A wooden or metal strip.
Synonyms:slat
Usage: Humidity and weathering had caused the spline on the edge of the door to detach.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs (also called linking adverbs or connecting adverbs) are a specific type of conjunction specifically used to connect two independent clauses. What punctuation mark is traditionally used when we join two independent clauses with a conjunctive adverb? More...
Article of the Day

Hashshashin

The historical referents of the term "assassin," the Hashshashin were a secret society of Ismaili Shia Muslims who specialized in politically motivated killings of Crusaders and Muslim rulers. Much of the lore surrounding the feared sect, which originated in Persia and was active from 1090 to 1272, stems from Marco Polo's likely fictional account of his visit to the city of Alamut in 1273. What drug is believed to be the root of the term "Hashshashin," and what was its connection to the sect? More...
This Day in History

Mary Toft Admits That She Did Not Really Give Birth to Rabbits (1726)

Toft, an English servant, had a bizarre 15 minutes of fame in 1726 when she convinced doctors that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits. At age 25, Toft suffered a miscarriage. About a month later, she appeared to go into labor and proceeded over the next few weeks to "birth" several animal parts along with nine baby bunnies. The episode was attributed to a fascination with rabbits that Toft had developed during her pregnancy—until it was revealed to be a hoax. How had she pulled it off? More...
Today's Birthday

Gerard Peter Kuiper (1905)

The "father of modern planetary science," Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper made many discoveries about the solar system, among them the presence of a methane atmosphere around Saturn's satellite Titan and a carbon dioxide-rich one on Mars and the existence of Uranus's satellite Miranda and Neptune's satellite Nereid. He also proposed the existence of a disk-shaped region of minor planets and comets—now called the Kuiper belt—outside Neptune's orbit. What did he help identify on the Moon? More...
Quotation of the Day
Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

Idiom of the Day

go halfsies

slang To share something, especially the cost of something, in equal proportion between two people. More...
Today's Holiday

Timor-Leste National Heroes Day (Anniversary of the Indonesian Invasion) (2018)

In Timor Leste, the invasion of Indonesian forces on December 7, 1975, initiated a period of occupation in which about 200,000 Timorese were killed. Today, this anniversary remains an occasion to mourn those who were killed and to seek redress for crimes committed during the occupation. Beginning in 1976, the Timorese established a tradition of gathering in the capital, Dili, to commemorate the anniversary of the invasion and stage a public protest over Indonesia's actions. Candlelight vigils and commemorative church services also became common throughout the country. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: observer

camera lucida - An optical device consisting of an attachment that enables an observer to view simultaneously the image and a drawing surface for sketching it. More...

horoscope - Comes from Greek hora, "hour, time," and skopos, "observer." More...

obverse - Its first meaning was "turned towards or facing the observer." More...

zenith, nadir - Zenith derived from Arabic samt ar-ras, "the way or road above one's head"; zenith technically is the point directly above the observer and nadir is the point directly below. More...

In the News

Pluto Is Hiding a Gigantic Liquid Ocean You Would Never, Ever Want to Swim In

Pluto is hiding a very big secret some 3 billion miles away from Earth: a vast ocean of liquid water. If you could suck all of the liquid from below the dwarf planet's icy shell, it might amount to a sphere up to 780 miles wide, or about 75% of all of ... More...
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