Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, August 9, 2016)
Word of the Day

contraption

Definition:(noun) A device that is very useful for a particular job.
Synonyms:gizmo, appliance, contrivance, gadget, widget, gismo, convenience
Usage: He turned the contraption around and around in his hands, not believing that such simple, small thing could save lives.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Identifying Indirect Objects

An indirect object is the person or thing who receives the direct object of the verb. Where do indirect objects appear in a sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a plant whose leaves are used to make a beverage called mate, the national drink of Argentina and Uruguay. Mate is a caffeinated infusion, much like a cross between green tee and coffee, that is prepared by steeping dried leaves in hot water. It is traditionally served in a hollow gourd with a metal straw and is usually enjoyed in a social setting. Uruguay enacted a national law that prohibits drinking mate while performing what other activity? More...
This Day in History

Nathan Ames Patents His "Revolving Stairs," Now Known as the Escalator (1859)

Although no working model of his design was ever built, Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator. His idea for the "revolving stairs" was largely speculative. It was not until the 1890s that the first working escalator—called the "inclined elevator"—was produced, based on another's designs. It was installed among the amusements at New York's Coney Island but did not remain a novelty for long. How did shoppers react when Harrods in London debuted its first escalator in 1898? More...
Today's Birthday

Pamela Lyndon "P. L." Travers (1899)

Australian-born British actress, journalist, and novelist P. L. Travers is best remembered for her series of fictional children's books about the prim, vain, imperious, acerbic, and mysteriously magical nanny Mary Poppins. The books were a great success, and Disney's award-winning 1964 film adaptation made the author even more famous. Travers worked as an adviser on the film, but in the end she was unhappy with it and never allowed anyone related to the production to adapt her work again. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
The connection between dress and war is not far to seek: your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Idiom of the Day

out of house and home

Evicted; no longer having someplace to live. More...
Today's Holiday

Bat Flight Breakfast (2018)

Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico was proclaimed a national monument in 1923 not only for its geologic formations but for its teeming bat population. Although many visitors to the park witness the bats' spectacular outbound flight at sunset, far fewer witness their return—except those who attend the annual Bat Flight Breakfast. About 400 people arrive at the cave before sunrise on the second Thursday in August and eat sausages and scrambled eggs in their official yellow "bat breakfast hats" while they wait for the bats to return to their roosts. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: hunger

famine, famish - Famine and famish come from Latin fames, "hunger." More...

dissatisfied, unsatisfied - Only a person can be dissatisfied, while an abstract thing (such as hunger) can be unsatisfied. More...

piece de resistance - The original context for piece de resistance is what one is able to resist by eating the big dish—pangs of hunger. More...

In the News

How Sunflowers Follow the Sun, Day after Day

At dawn, whole fields of sunflowers stand at attention, all facing east, and begin their romance with the rising sun. As that special star appears to move across the sky, young flowers follow its light, looking up, then over and westward, catching one final ... More...
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