Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, January 7, 2017)
Word of the Day

refractory

Definition:(adjective) Obstinately resistant to authority or control.
Synonyms:fractious, recalcitrant
Usage: He still made a naughty or refractory lad stand with one arm stretched out for anything from ten minutes to half an hour.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive mood refers to verbs that are used to describe hypothetical or non-real actions, events, or situations. What is the subjective mood most commonly used to express? More...
Article of the Day

Chris Burden

Burden is a performance artist who emerged as part of the American art scene in the 1970s, performing controversial, dangerous pieces in which he used his own body as the art medium. During a 1971 performance piece titled Shoot, he was shot in his left arm by an assistant standing a short distance away. He was labeled insane following the performance, but it has since become one of his most well-known pieces from the period. Why did he resign from the University of California in 2005? More...
This Day in History

Galileo Galilei Discovers Three of Jupiter's Four Largest Moons (1610)

Jupiter has more than 60 moons. The four largest—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—were the first satellites of a planet other than Earth to be detected. They were discovered by Galileo in 1610, shortly after he invented the telescope, and are therefore known as the Galilean satellites. On January 7, 1610, Galileo observed near Jupiter what he described at the time as "three fixed stars, totally invisible by their smallness." How long did it take Galileo to realize they were not stars? More...
Today's Birthday

Zora Neale Hurston (1891)

An anthropologist, folklorist, and author, Hurston spent much of her life collecting African-American folktales in the rural South and in other places, such as Haiti, Bermuda, and Honduras. She was a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance and collaborated with her friend Langston Hughes on the play Mule Bone in 1931. Along with her folklore collections, she also wrote four novels, including the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God. Why did the book inspire controversy? More...
Quotation of the Day
When friends grow cold, and the converse of intimates languishes into vapid civility and commonplace, these [books] only continue the unaltered countenance of happier days, and cheer us with that true friendship which never deceived hope nor deserted sorrow.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

good going

An informal expression of praise for having done something well. (It can also be used sarcastically to mean the opposite.) More...
Today's Holiday

Distaff Day (2018)

After the 12-day Christmas celebration ended on Epiphany, St. Distaff's Day was traditionally the day on which women resumed their chores, symbolized by the distaff, a tool used in spinning flax or wool. It was also called Rock Day—"rock" being another name for the distaff. The "spear side" and the "distaff side" were legal terms used to distinguish the inheritance of male from that of female children, and the distaff eventually became a synonym for the female sex as a whole. Distaff Day was not really a church festival, but it was widely observed at one time in England. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: recent

Amazonian epoch - The Amazonian epoch is the most recent of the Martian geologic epochs, from 1,800 years ago to the present. More...

grey, gray - The distinction in spelling between British grey and American gray is recent, popping up in the 20th century. More...

Pleistocene, Pliocene, Miocene, Oligocene - Epochs indicating periods in the Earth's geology; Pleistocene means "most recent," Pliocene means "more recent," Miocene means "moderately recent," and Oligocence means "but a little recent." More...

neoteric - Used to describe a person, especially an author, it means one belongs to modern/recent times—but it might also refer to a person having a modern outlook or new ideas; when used of things, it indicates that they are modern, new, or recent. More...

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