Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, October 21, 2016)
Word of the Day

gastronome

Definition:(noun) A connoisseur of good food and drink.
Synonyms:epicure, epicurean, foodie, gourmet, bon vivant
Usage: He was quite the gastronome, and restaurant chefs around the town knew it was important to impress him.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Interrogative Adjectives

English has three interrogative adjectives: "what," "which," and "whose." They are called "interrogative" because they are usually used to ask questions. How can they be differentiated from interrogative pronouns? More...
Article of the Day

The Qianlong Emperor

Hongli took the title of Qianlong—meaning "the Era of Strong Prosperity"—when his imperial reign of China began in 1735. Ironically, by the end of Qianlong's reign in 1796, expensive military expeditions and corruption had nearly exhausted the funds of the Imperial Treasury. A patron of the arts, the Qianlong Emperor commissioned a catalogue of all important Chinese cultural works that took 20 years to complete and consisted of 36,000 volumes. How many copyists were involved in the project? More...
This Day in History

The Valentich Disappearance (1978)

On October 21, 1978, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared while piloting a Cessna light aircraft over Australia. He was supposed to land at King Island, pick up a few friends, and return to Moorabbin Airport, but during his flight, he reported to air traffic control that a strange aircraft was flying close above him. No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found, prompting some to speculate that he had been captured by a UFO. What was the last thing he told flight controllers? More...
Today's Birthday

Ronald McNair (1950)

A nationally recognized US physicist, accomplished saxophonist, and black belt in karate, McNair was selected to join NASA's astronaut training program in 1978. Six years later, aboard the space shuttle Challenger, he became the second African American in space. His next trip into orbit was to take place on the same shuttle on January 28, 1986, and McNair brought his sax along for the ride, intending to be the first to record an original piece of music in space. Why did this never happen? More...
Quotation of the Day
In the bosoms of this people, thus heterogeneously composed, there was burning, kindled at different furnaces, but all furnaces of affliction, one clear, steady flame of liberty.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

Idiom of the Day

a spring in (one's) step

A happy, energetic, and excited mood or manner, as indicated by the carefree way one walks. More...
Today's Holiday

Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Valme (2018)

The Romeriá (pilgrimage) of Our Lady of Valme involves a cross-country pilgrimage. The image of Our Lady of Valme is kept in the parish church of Dos Hermanas, but on this day she is carried in an elaborate procession to the shrine of Valme, on a hill overlooking Seville, Spain. The cart bearing the statue of the Virgin Mary is drawn by oxen with gilded horns. The pilgrims walk behind, and it takes about three hours to reach the sanctuary. Everyone rushes inside, and the mass begins. Afterwards, there is dancing, singing and drinking until sunset, when the image is escorted back to Dos Hermanas. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: shorter

store - A shortened version of the obsolete astor, "stock of provisions, supplies." More...

alligator - From Spanish el lagarto, "the lizard," which may have come from Latin lacerta; the alligator has a shorter, blunter snout than a crocodile. More...

telescopic umbrella - An umbrella that can become shorter. More...

dog watch - A two-hour watch on board a ship, it is based on dog sleep, the light or fitful sleep typical of dogs (a catnap being even shorter). More...

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