Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, November 15, 2017)
Word of the Day

smorgasbord

Definition:(noun) A varied collection.
Synonyms:assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, mixture, motley, potpourri, salmagundi, variety
Usage: The conference panel was comprised of a veritable smorgasbord of religious leaders promoting peace, unity, and understanding.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Constructing Conditional Verbs

Conditional verbs are constructions of verbs that are used in conditional sentences. Such verbs are typically formed when a clause in the sentence contains the word "if," and the action of the sentence depends on the condition established by this clause. What type of verb is often used to help indicate the tense and intention of the verbs in the conditional or resulting clause(s)? More...
Article of the Day

Bomb-Sniffing Rats

The Gambian pouched rat, with its superb sense of smell and tractable personality, has been used recently to locate land mines in its native Africa. Trained from a young age to associate the smell of explosives with a reward, the rodents learn to alert their handlers to the presence of mines. There are several advantages to using rodents rather than dogs in such operations, among them the fact that they are fairly small and thus rarely cause mines to detonate. Why has the US banned their import? More...
This Day in History

Margaret Thatcher and Garret FitzGerald Sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985)

Though it did not bring an immediate end to the Troubles, the Anglo-Irish Agreement addressed some specific points of contention. It granted the Republic of Ireland a role in the government of Northern Ireland for the first time, while confirming that Northern Ireland would remain a part of the UK until a majority of its citizens decided otherwise. The agreement met with fierce opposition in Northern Ireland. One politician compared Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, to what biblical villain? More...
Today's Birthday

Jérôme Bonaparte (1784)

Jérôme Bonaparte was the youngest brother of Napoleon. The two men became estranged after Jérôme married an American in 1803 without Napoleon's consent. Napoleon personally had the marriage annulled and arranged Jérôme's wedding to Princess Catherine of Württemberg instead. Jérôme was made king of Westphalia, but his kingdom collapsed and became part of Prussia in 1815, after which he returned to France. Which one of his grandsons founded the precursor of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation? More...
Quotation of the Day
Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

a kernel of truth

A singular element of truth or wisdom within a greater story, narrative, speech, or claim, especially when most or all other elements are fictitious or of questionable veracity. More...
Today's Holiday

Sending the Winter Dress (2020)

This is the day on which the Chinese send winter clothes to their dead ancestors. They are not real items of clothing but paper replicas. People display the paper clothes in their homes before wrapping them up and addressing them. That done, families proceed to the graves of their departed ones and burn the packages. This is one of three annual occasions in remembrance of ancestors who have passed on; the other two are Chung Yeung and Qing Ming. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: heels

sparable - A headless nail used for soles and heels of shoes. More...

recalcitrant - Comes from Latin recalcitrare, "kick out with the heels," from calx, "heel." More...

heel - The crusty ends of a loaf of bread are its heels. More...

Dog Star - Named for its appearing to follow at the heels of Orion the hunter. More...

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