Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, March 19, 2016)
Word of the Day

declination

Definition:(noun) A polite refusal of an invitation.
Synonyms:regrets
Usage: His declination of the dinner invitation was a great disappointment to the would-be host.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are most commonly used to indicate the exact words that someone else said. This is known as direct speech or direct quotation. What are the two forms of quotation marks? More...
Article of the Day

Antivenin: The Antidote

Antivenin is a biological material used to neutralize the venom of poisonous creatures like snakes, scorpions, spiders, and other insects. The antitoxins are created by injecting a small amount of venom into a serum-producing animal such as a horse, sheep, goat, or rabbit. The subject animal then suffers an immune response to the venom and produces antibodies which can be harvested from its blood and used to treat envenomation in others. What is mithridatism, and why is it so named? More...
This Day in History

Nevada Legalizes Gambling (1931)

Though unregulated gambling had been common in early Nevada mining towns, it was outlawed in 1909, and for many years, the state's economy was carried by mining. However, with the mining industry in decline amid the Great Depression, state lawmakers agreed to re-legalize gambling in order to strengthen the state's finances. Today, the state economy is dominated by tourism and gaming. Nevada has the unusually high ratio of approximately one hotel room to how many state residents? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Richard Frances Burton (1821)

Burton lived a life of adventure and scandal as an explorer, translator, fencer, ethnologist, poet, and spy. He spoke at least 25 languages and put these skills to use translating works like the Arabian Nights and Kama Sutra into English. His linguistic skills also helped him pass himself off as a Muslim so that he could visit the forbidden holy cities of Mecca and Medina. After he died, his wife burned 40 years' worth of his diaries. What caused the distinctive scars on his face? More...
Quotation of the Day
History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription molders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand—and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust?

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

make (oneself or something) ready (for someone or something)

To become or make something prepared for something or someone. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Joseph's Day (2018)

In Valencia, Spain, the feast of the foster-father of Jesus is a week-long festival called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). On St. Joseph's Eve, March 18, fallas—huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities—parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with the spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire. The festival is said to reflect the happy and satirical nature of the Valencians. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: prove

probe, prove, probable - Latin probare, "approve, prove, test," is the source of English probe and prove. From that came Latin probabilis, "provable," which became English probable. More...

sooth, soothsayer, soothe - Sooth, "true, truth," or "that which is," is part of soothsayer; it is related to soothe, which once meant "assent to be true; say yes to," or "to prove or show a fact to be true." More...

approve - Its original sense was "prove, demonstrate." More...

rebut, refute - To rebut a statement is to offer clear evidence or a reasoned argument against it; to refute a statement is to prove it wrong (neither means "contradict" or "deny"). More...

In the News

Why is NASA Playing with Fire in Space?

In a few days, NASA will send a box into space and remotely light materials inside of it on fire to learn more about how zero gravity and limited oxygen affect flame size and spread of fire. The findings from the experiment, and a couple of others later this ... More...
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