Daily Content Archive

(as of Thursday, June 1, 2017)
Word of the Day

farcical

Definition:(adjective) Broadly or extravagantly humorous; resembling farce.
Synonyms:ludicrous, ridiculous
Usage: The clown, with his farcical exuberance, rainbow striped hair, and poorly timed gags, drew enthusiastic applause and laughter from the audience.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining the Ellipsis

An ellipsis is a series of three consecutive periods known as "ellipsis points" ( . . . ). What is the ellipsis used to indicate? More...
Article of the Day

The Ultimate Fate of the Universe

A number of theories have been proposed regarding the ultimate fate of the universe. Some, like the Big Crunch and the Big Rip, suggest the universe will come to an end, while others conclude that it will exist for an infinite period of time. Most cosmologists agree that the universe's average density, the rate at which it expands, and the physical properties of the mass and energy in the universe will determine its ultimate fate. What is the difference between an open universe and a closed one? More...
This Day in History

Former Slave Isabella Baumfree Becomes Sojourner Truth (1843)

Born into slavery in New York, Baumfree had four different masters before escaping with her infant daughter in 1826, one year before the state abolished slavery. She traveled and championed abolition, changing her name in 1843. Her dictated memoirs were published as The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave. In 1851, she delivered what is now known as the "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the Women's Rights Convention. How did the first report of the speech differ from later accounts? More...
Today's Birthday

Dr. Henry Faulds (1843)

Faulds was a Scottish doctor and scientist who pioneered the study of fingerprints as forensic evidence. He first became interested in fingerprints after noticing the imprints left by craftsmen's fingertips in ancient pottery. Convinced that fingerprints could be a valuable investigative tool, Faulds unsuccessfully tried to convince Scotland Yard to employ his methods. His findings went largely unnoticed during his lifetime. How does Darwin's cousin factor into a controversy over Faulds's work? More...
Quotation of the Day
We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

now (someone) has gone and done it

Someone has just done something very grave, foolish, and/or irreparable. More...
Today's Holiday

Samoa Independence Day (2018)

Samoa (called Western Samoa until 1997) gained independence from New Zealand on January 1, 1962. Because the rainy season in Samoa comes in January, however, celebrations are held in June on the first day of the month. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: spinning

heckle - First a "flax comb" for splitting and straightening the fibers for spinning; its metaphorical sense developed from its verb form, "to mangle by cutting, to cut roughly." More...

distaff side, spear side - The female side of a family is the distaff side—the distaff being a stick used for holding yarn when spinning; the male side is the spear side. More...

fouette - A spectacular pirouette in which the ballerina whips her raised leg around in an eggbeater motion while spinning on the other leg. More...

turngiddy - Means dizzy from spinning around. More...

In the News

The Healthiest Way to Improve Your Sleep: Exercise

If you're one of the third of all Americans who suffer from insomnia -- roughly 108 million of us -- put away your sleeping pills. Science has a much safer solution. "There has been more and more research in the last decade showing exercise can reduce ... More...
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