Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, October 24, 2017)
Word of the Day

abstruse

Definition:(adjective) Difficult to understand.
Synonyms:deep, recondite
Usage: The professor's lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.
Daily Grammar Lesson

The Present Continuous for Actions Happening at the Moment of Speech

The most common occurrence of the present continuous is when someone or something is performing an action at the very moment being described. What is the present continuous verb in the following sentence? "I am going home now." More...
Article of the Day

The July 20 Plot

Even before the start of World War II, some Nazi officials sought to remove Adolf Hitler from power. As the war dragged on, Nazi leaders desiring to assassinate Hitler and seek more favorable peace terms from the Allies hatched the so-called July 20 Plot. On that day in 1944, German colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planted a bomb in a briefcase at a meeting with Hitler, but the Führer escaped with minor injuries. How many people were arrested and executed in the Gestapo's subsequent investigation? More...
This Day in History

Zambia Gains Independence (1964)

The area that is now Zambia came under British control in the early 1900s with the development of the copper mining industry. After decades of nationalist struggle, the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda, a former schoolteacher who had been jailed for nationalist political activities prior to independence, became its first president. Zambia may have been the first country to do what during the Olympics? More...
Today's Birthday

Annie Edson Taylor (1838)

On her 63rd birthday, Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The interior of the barrel was cushioned and the air was compressed with a bicycle pump. Before her trip, Taylor sent a cat over the falls in her barrel—and it lived. Days later, she drifted over the falls in the same barrel and walked away from the plunge with minor injuries. However, she did not significantly profit from the stunt. According to some accounts, her barrel was stolen by whom? More...
Quotation of the Day
If you don't get what you want, it's a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

live and kicking

Alive, healthy, and alert. (A truncated version of "alive and kicking.") More...
Today's Holiday

Zambia Independence Day (2017)

On this day in 1964, the British colony of Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia, after decades of nationalist struggle. For two days, celebrations and parades are held all over Zambia, but the most elaborate are in the capital city of Lusaka. Labor and youth organizations march along with the armed forces with dancing and music. Various tribal dances from all over the country are performed in Independence Stadium, and there are gymnastics performances by children. October 24 is also the occasion for the final game of the annual Independence Soccer Trophy. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: occupation

aptronym - A name that fits a person's nature or occupation, like Jane House for a real estate agent. More...

mechanical - Predates "machine" in English and has long had certain separate senses, such as "an art, trade, or occupation: concerned with manual work" and "practical as opposed to theoretical." More...

specialization, specialty - Specialization refers to the process of becoming specialized; specialty refers to a special pursuit, occupation, or product. More...

study - Based on Latin studium, "painstaking application, zeal" (from studere, "to be zealous"), study's earliest uses are surprising: "affection, friendliness," an "occupation or pursuit," and "a state of reverie or abstraction; state of perplexity." More...

In the News

Backyard Bird Feeders May Be Altering the Course of Evolution

Evolution works very slowly—except when it doesn't. New research shows that certain British birds appear to be changing quickly as result of bird feeders, evolving longer beaks to help them access the food inside. Many years ago, the late evolutionary biologist Stephen ... More...
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