Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, November 13, 2015)
Word of the Day

dolmen

Definition:(noun) A prehistoric megalith typically having two upright stones and a capstone.
Synonyms:cromlech
Usage: All that was left of the pre-historic community was a dolmen, an enigma that stood in nature like a letter from a lost alphabet.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Grammatical Person

Grammatical person refers to the degree of involvement of a participant in an action, event, or circumstance. There are three degrees of grammatical person. What are they? More...
Article of the Day

The Hieratic Writing System

Hieratic, first used around 3,000 BCE, was the basic writing system of the ancient Egyptian pharaonic period and provided a simpler alternative to the contemporaneous hieroglyphic system. It was generally written with ink on papyrus and was often used to compose administrative documents and letters, as well as legal, literary, and religious texts. Much of what is now known about the lives of common Egyptians has been deciphered from such texts. What writing system is descended from hieratic? More...
This Day in History

Daredevil Sam Patch's Final, Fatal Stunt (1829)

Patch, a one-time mill worker, made a name for himself as a stunt diver in the late 1920s, most famously by leaping from a 125-ft (38-m) ladder into the Niagara River near the base of Niagara Falls not once but twice. Less than a month later, he made another 125-ft jump, ironically billed as "Sam's Last Jump," this time into the Genesee River. With thousands watching, the daredevil leapt to his death. In his first Genesee stunt the week before, what did Patch send over the ledge before jumping? More...
Today's Birthday

Johann Eck (1486)

Eck, a German Catholic theologian, was initially friendly with Martin Luther but did not hesitate to condemn Luther's 95 Theses—which criticized papal policy—as heretical. Known for his dialectic skill, he publicly confronted Luther in 1519, and then went to Rome and returned with a papal bull condemning Luther. From then on, he was a leader in the struggle against the reforming party in Germany. How did the students of Leipzig, the site of Eck's confrontation with Luther, react to the bull? More...
Quotation of the Day
Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

Idiom of the Day

steely-eyed

With or having a fierce intensity in one's expression. More...
Today's Holiday

Feast of St. Frances Cabrini (2018)

The first American citizen to be proclaimed a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, Francesca Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) was born in Italy. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1880, and went on to establish orphanages, schools and hospitals in many American cities, as well as in Europe and South America. She was canonized on July 7, 1946. Her feast day is commemorated in many places, but particularly at Mother Cabrini High School in New York City, in whose chapel she is buried, and at every establishment of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: slave

amanuensis - Literally "slave at hand"—for a literary assistant, especially one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts. More...

ciao - Also ciau; from Italian, it is an alteration of schiavo, "(I am your) slave." More...

serve - From Latin servire, "serve," from servus, "slave." More...

addict - To addict originally meant "to award as a slave"; an addict now is a slave to his/her habit, from Latin addictus, which, in Roman law, meant "a debtor awarded as a slave to his creditor." More...

In the News

Humans Have Minded Their Own Beeswax for At Least 8500 Years

For how long have humans been exploiting the labor of honeybees? More than 8,500 years, according to a new study. Researchers found beeswax residue on fragments of ancient cooking pots from archeological sites across Europe, the Middle East and North ... More...
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