Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, December 12, 2016)
Word of the Day

runnel

Definition:(noun) A small stream; a brook.
Synonyms:streamlet, rill, rivulet, run
Usage: He could tell from the impression carved into the landscape that the runnel's flow had drifted a few feet to the north.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Personal Pronouns - Case

Case is the manner by which a noun is inflected depending on its grammatical function as a subject or object in a sentence. While the English language has largely discarded its case system, personal pronouns are one area in which the case system is still active, being inflected depending on whether they function as what? More...
Article of the Day

Automatic Writing

Used as a form of channeling by proponents of Spiritualism and the New Age movement, automatic writing is a writing process that is performed without conscious thought or deliberation, at times, while the writer is in a trancelike state. Practitioners often attribute the resulting message to aliens, the deceased, the subconscious, or even God. Skeptics note, however, that there is no evidence to support such claims. Which books have allegedly been written using this technique? More...
This Day in History

Clapham Junction Rail Crash (1988)

Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red. He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed. Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train's rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h). Then, an empty train traveling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage. The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more. What caused the signal failure? More...
Today's Birthday

Helen Frankenthaler (1928)

A member of abstract expressionism's second generation, Frankenthaler was greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock. Inspired by his way of working on a canvas laid on the floor rather than mounted upright, Frankenthaler developed a technique for staining unprimed canvases with thinned pigments that she poured. Her work gave rise to the color-field movement of the late 50s. An appointee to the National Endowment for the Arts, she controversially opposed government grants to artists on what grounds? More...
Quotation of the Day
It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it?

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Idiom of the Day

rubber jungle

An aviation term among pilots and airline crew for the effect created when the rubber oxygen masks in a commercial aircraft deploy from its ceiling. More...
Today's Holiday

Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (2018)

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, and on December 12 thousands of pilgrims flock to her shrine at the famous Church of Guadalupe outside Mexico City. On the evening of December 11, crowds have already gathered for singing and special ceremonies at midnight, which are carried on national television. This great religious festival commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill, north of present-day Mexico City. The story is reenacted in a puppet show each year, and relics of Our Lady of Guadalupe are sold in the streets. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: news

gazette - A gazzetta, a Venetian coin of little value, gave rise to the phrase gazzetta de la novita, "halfpennyworth of news," which eventually gave us gazette. More...

silly season - Any slow news period characterized by trivial news or no news. More...

tidings - Probably comes from Old Norse tithindi, "news of events." More...

report - To report something is etymologically to "carry it back," from Latin reportare; the metaphorical sense of "bringing back news" also developed in Latin. More...

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