Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, January 7, 2015)
Word of the Day

fissure

Definition:(noun) A long narrow opening.
Synonyms:crevice, crack, cleft
Usage: In a narrow little fissure, just within reach of my forefinger, I felt the chain.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Modal Auxiliary Verbs - Should

The modal verb "should" is used in a variety of ways, including to politely express obligations or duties and to ask for or issue advice. Why is "should" sometimes used instead of "will" or "shall"? More...
Article of the Day

Millefiori

Millefiori is a glassmaking technique in which a bundle of colored glass rods is heated, fused, drawn out thinly, and then cut to create flower patterns. Millefiori is of ancient origin and was used in Anglo-Saxon jewelry and decoration. The process was revived in 16th-century Venice, and then again in 19th-century France and Britain, where it was used for objects like paperweights. It was during this period that the technique was given its name, which combines two Italian words that mean what? More...
This Day in History

First Crossing of the English Channel by Air (1785)

In the dangerous, early days of balloon flight, French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to travel across the English Channel by air. Not long after, another pair of balloonists attempted to repeat this feat, but the two were killed when their balloon exploded. Blanchard himself eventually died in a ballooning accident, and his widow suffered a similar fate about a decade later. With what useless objects did Blanchard attempt to steer his balloon during early flights? More...
Today's Birthday

Millard Fillmore (1800)

Born in a log cabin in rural New York, Fillmore was compelled to work at an early age to help support his large, impoverished family. Despite his limited education, he became a lawyer and was elected vice president under Zachary Taylor. Upon Taylor's death in 1850, Fillmore was sworn in as president. His attempt to take a moderate stance on the highly contentious issue of slavery ended his political career. While being fed soup, a dying Fillmore made what remark that turned out to be his last? More...
Quotation of the Day
Great men need to be lifted upon the shoulders of the whole world, in order to conceive their great ideas or perform their great deeds. That is, there must be an atmosphere of greatness round about them. A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Idiom of the Day

lock lips (with someone)

To kiss (someone) passionately and at length. 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: shank

stummel - A pipe's bowl and shank. More...

shank - Each half of a pair of scissors; also the stem of a wine glass. More...

shank - Once meant "the remainder, the rest," as in "shank of the evening." More...

scare - The shank of a golf club can be called the scare. More...

In the News

Secrets of the Longest-Living Mammal Revealed

The genome of the bowhead whale was released this week by scientists who say that it may hold the key to longer and healthier lives for humans. The bowhead whale is the largest animal whose genome has been sequenced. It lives longer than any other mammal, with a lifespan of up to 200 years. Scientists studying its genome found significant differences in genes related to cell cycle, DNA repair, and aging process compared to other mammals. Although it has about 1,000 times as many cells as a human, its cells have a far more efficient anti-tumor response. More...
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