Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, March 11, 2016)
Word of the Day

philippic

Definition:(noun) A verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language; a tirade.
Synonyms:tirade, broadside
Usage: Ferrars looked exceedingly angry, and drawing herself up more stiffly than ever, pronounced in retort a bitter philippic.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Adverbial Phrases

An adverbial phrase (also known as an adverb phrase) is group of words that functions as an adverb in a sentence. What is a mitigator? More...
Article of the Day

Automats

An automat is a fast food restaurant where food and drinks are served by coin- and bill-operated vending machines. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first automat in the US in 1902 and quickly popularized the notion of take-out food with their slogan “Less work for Mother.” The original automat machines, which had little windows containing the prepared meals, were filled from behind by workers who cooked the fresh food in an unseen kitchen. What led to the decline of automat dining? More...
This Day in History

Spanish Flu Pandemic Begins (1918)

One of the most devastating pandemics in human history, the Spanish flu was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, which was home to some of the tens of thousands of soldiers waiting to be deployed to Europe for combat in World War I. It came to be known as the Spanish flu after spreading to Spain, but its reach was global. Estimates vary, but at least 20 million people died from the pandemic. What was the only sizable, inhabited place in the world that had no documented outbreak? More...
Today's Birthday

Douglas Adams (1952)

Best known as the creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which began as a BBC radio series in 1978 and was thereafter adapted for a series of bestselling novels, a TV series, a record album, a computer game, and several stage productions, Douglas Adams was a talented writer and musician. Though his career was cut short by a fatal heart attack, he left behind a creative legacy that includes the "answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything." What is it? More...
Quotation of the Day
To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Idiom of the Day

make game of (someone or something)

To ridicule, mock, or tease someone or something; to make fun of someone or something. More...
Today's Holiday

Moshoeshoe's Day (2018)

Moshoeshoe (c. 1790-1870) was a leader in South Africa who organized a group of tribes to fight the Zulu warlord Shaka. He called his followers the Basotho people, and although they succeeded in fending off the Zulu, they were drawn into war with Europeans who started settling their territory. In 1966, the Basotho nation became the independent kingdom of Lesotho within the British Commonwealth. The Basotho people honor their founder on this day with a wreath-laying ceremony in the capital city of Maseru, along with sporting events and traditional music and dancing. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: pod

pod - A group of whales (or seals or dolphins), or a small flock of birds. More...

boll weevil - From Old English wifel, "beetle," and boll, the pod of the cotton plant, which this beetle attacks. More...

chalice - From Latin calix, "cup," and Greek kalux, "pod." More...

vanilla - Once thought to be an aphrodisiac because its pod resembled the vagina; its name comes from the Spanish for "little vagina." More...

In the News

This Animal Tears Its Face Off to Open Its Mouth

There's a small, tentacled freshwater animal called a hydra, whose mouth disappears every time it closes. I really mean that: it disappears. When your mouth closes, the two halves are still distinct. No matter how tightly you purse your lips together ... More...
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