Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, April 14, 2019)
Word of the Day

will-o'-the-wisp

Definition:(noun) A pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground.
Synonyms:friar's lantern, ignis fatuus, jack-o'-lantern
Usage: The white face of a dying man seemed suddenly to have floated up out of the darkness, to have come to him like a will-o'-the-wisp from the swamp.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal pronouns are used to refer to two or more people who are or were the subject of the same verb, with all parties receiving the action in the same way. What are the two reciprocal pronouns in English? More...
Article of the Day

Coelacanths

Coelacanths, powerful predators with limb-like fins, appeared about 350 million years ago. Once considered the missing link between fish and tetrapods, they were thought to have become extinct 80 million years ago—until one was caught in 1938 near the southern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. They are deep-sea fish with hollow fin spines and average 5 ft (1.5 m) in length and weigh approximately 100 lb (45 kg). How is the coelacanth's heart different from those of other vertebrates? More...
This Day in History

Donner Party Sets Out on Ill-Fated Journey from Illinois to California (1846)

The Donner Party was a group of families from Illinois and Iowa that set out for California following a little-used, supposedly shorter, route across Utah. The shortcut only tired and delayed the party, and while recovering at what is now Donner Lake in the Sierra Nevada, the group was trapped by early snow. Many died, several while trying to get help; some reportedly resorted to cannibalism. Rescuers reached the survivors in February 1847. How many of the 87 pioneers survived the ordeal? More...
Today's Birthday

Abraham Ortelius (1527)

Ortelius was a Flemish geographer and cartographer who, while traveling with his contemporary Gerardus Mercator, was inspired to compile the first modern world atlas. The first edition of Theatrum orbis terrarium, issued in 1570, contained 53 maps compiled, in part, from the maps of 87 cartographers. A leading member of the 16th-century Flemish school of geography, Ortelius is thought to have been the first to posit what theory about the positioning of the continents? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is so pleasant to come across people more stupid than ourselves. We love them at once for being so.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idiom of the Day

catch some shuteye

To sleep. More...
Today's Holiday

Lindsborg Messiah Festival (2019)

The first Messiah Festival in Lindsborg, Kansas, was held in 1882 by a group of Swedish immigrants led by Dr. Carl Swensson and his wife Alma. Using the local townspeople, the Swenssons established what is now known as the Bethany Oratorio Society, a group of 400 singers that includes faculty and students from Bethany College and a 50-member symphony orchestra. The annual festival’s program consists primarily of choral works, oratorios, and solo recitals. Lindsborg's Messiah Festival is often referred to as the "Oberammergau of the Plains." More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: ships

nauscopy - The ability to sight land or ships at a distance. More...

spring a leak - First referred to ships, describing the way the timbers sprang out of position and let in water. More...

square meal - May derive from the square platters used for serving meals on ships. More...

longshoremen - When sailors passed goods from the ships to men along the shore, those men came to be called longshoremen. More...

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