Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 13, 2016)
Word of the Day

scapegrace

Definition:(noun) A scoundrel.
Synonyms:rascal
Usage: Both Kuragin and Dolokhov were at that time notorious among the rakes and scapegraces of Petersburg.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Conditional Verbs

Conditional verbs are used in conditional sentences, which express something that might happen, depending on whether or not a particular condition is met. To denote such a condition, what word is commonly used with one of the verbs in a conditional sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Gonzo's Roots

In 1970, journalist Hunter S. Thompson was assigned to cover the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan's Monthly. With a deadline fast approaching and his story still unwritten, Thompson desperately resorted to tearing out pages of his notes and sending them to his editor. The resulting story, titled “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” became the first example of Gonzo journalism. Whose belief that “fiction is often the best fact” formed the basis for Thompson's subjective writing style? More...
This Day in History

William Herschel Discovers Uranus (1781)

For many years, astronomers mistakenly believed that the planet Uranus, which is sometimes visible to the naked eye, was a star. Herschel, a German-born English astronomer, originally believed that it was a comet. It soon proved to be, indeed, a verifiable planet—the first to be discovered in modern times with the aid of a telescope. The planet was only named Uranus—for the Greek personification of heaven—after the original name of Herschel's choosing proved unpopular. What was it? More...
Today's Birthday

Daniel Lambert (1770)

Lambert is famous for having been recognized, in his own time, as the fattest man in England. An active and athletic youth, he began his dramatic weight gain after taking over his father's job as keeper of a prison in Leicester. Though he initially led a quiet life and was well liked by his prisoners, he eventually—and reluctantly—went on tour. By then, he weighed more than 700 pounds (318 kg), and spectators paid a shilling each to see him. What complication arose when he died at Stamford? More...
Quotation of the Day
The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Idiom of the Day

make heavy going of (something)

To make something harder or more laborious to do, especially more than is usual or necessary. More...
Today's Holiday

Kasuga Matsuri (2018)

The Kasuga Shrine in Nara is one of the most beautiful and ancient in Japan. Every year on March 13, a festival is held there with elaborate ceremonies and performances that recall the shrine's heyday. The hiki-uma horse ceremony, where a sacred horse is led in procession through the streets, and the elegant Yamato-mai dance performed by Shinto women are reminiscent of the culture and customs of the Nara and Heian Eras. Construction of the Kasuga Shrine was started during the Nara period (710-784) and was completed in the first years of the Heian period (794-1185). More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: mail

post road - One with a series of post-houses or stations for post-horses; a road on which mail was carried. More...

nixie - Any piece of mail that is unable to be forwarded because it is illegibly or incorrectly addressed. More...

post - Latin posita, "placed," gave us Italian posta, "station on a road," and became French poste, "a station for mail"—from the series of stations that fast horsemen traversed to deliver messages, giving us post, as in "mail system." More...

blackmail - The "mail" in blackmail is Scottish for "tax, tribute," referring to the tribute demanded by rebel chiefs in return for their protection. More...

In the News

How Prehistoric Food Processing Helped Shape Our Faces

When our genus, Homo, diverged from other hominins at least 2.8 million years ago, human skeletons began to change in significant and puzzling ways. Homo erectus, for example, was much taller and had a much larger brain case than the Australopith ... More...
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