Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 23, 2019)
Word of the Day

parterre

Definition:(noun) Seating at the rear of the main floor (beneath the balconies).
Synonyms:parquet circle
Usage: They found the whole of the audience in the parterre standing up and directing their gaze towards the box formerly possessed by the Russian ambassador.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Ungradable Adjectives

Ungradable adjectives are adjectives that can't move up and down on a scale of intensity. "Married" and "dead" are both ungradable adjectives. Can ungradable adjectives be used in the comparative form? More...
Article of the Day

The Steam Engine

In a steam engine, hot steam expands under pressure, and part of the heat energy is converted into work. The idea to harness steam’s power and convert it to mechanical energy dates back 2,000 years to Hero of Alexandria and his aeolipile, but the concept was not successfully applied to the building of a power source until about 1700. Improvements to the steam engine over the next century allowed it to play a major role in the Industrial Revolution. Why is there renewed interest in steam power? More...
This Day in History

Rutan Voyager Completes First Nonstop Flight around the World without Refueling (1986)

Piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who first conceived of the craft and sketched it on the back of a napkin in 1981, the Rutan Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. It took off from Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert on December 14, 1986, and landed there nine days later. The aircraft more than doubled the previous record of un-refueled flight set by a US Air Force B-52 in 1962. How much does the Rutan Voyager weigh? More...
Today's Birthday

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805)

Smith was the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In 1827, he claimed that an angel directed him to buried golden plates containing God's revelation, which he translated as the Book of Mormon. He led converts to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and introduced the custom of polygamy. When in 1844 he announced his candidacy for the presidency of the US, he and his brother were thrown in jail, where they were killed by a lynch mob. What happened to the church after his death? More...
Quotation of the Day
The evolution of man is slow. The injustice of men is great.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

go to Canossa

To become or make oneself humble; to do a penance or seek absolution for some wrong. A reference to Canossa Castle in Emilia Romagna, Italy, where Emperor Henry IV humbled himself before Pope Gregory VII in 1077 to have his excommunication lifted. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Thorlak's Day (2019)

Thorlak Thorhalli (1133-1193) was born in Iceland and, after being educated abroad, returned there to become bishop of Skalholt in 1177 or 1178. He was canonized by the Icelandic parliament five years after his death. His day traditionally marks the climax of Christmas preparations for Icelanders. It is associated with housecleaning, as well as the preparation of special foods. The hangiket, or smoked mutton, for Christmas was usually cooked on this day, and in the western fjords, the smell of skate hash cooked on St. Thorlak's Day is still considered a harbinger of the holiday season. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: soldier

bombardier - First denoted a soldier in charge of a bombard, an early form of cannon. More...

functional shift - The process by which words change parts of speech without the addition of a prefix or suffix, as in soldier on, the verb, being created from soldier, the noun. More...

guerrilla, gorilla - Guerrilla is from a Spanish diminutive of guerra, "war," and refers to a soldier of an independent armed resistance force; gorilla is the ape. More...

military - Based on Latin miles, "soldier." More...

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