Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, March 26, 2017)
Word of the Day

connoisseur

Definition:(noun) A person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts.
Synonyms:cognoscente
Usage: I brought the painting to the world's best art connoisseurs, and they all agreed that it was an authentic Picasso and would fetch millions at auction.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Personal Pronouns - Gender

Modern English is largely an ungendered language. However, a personal pronoun can be inflected for gender to correspond to the gender of the person. What type of pronouns remain gender-neutral? More...
Article of the Day

The Nazca Lines

Aerial exploration of the arid tableland surrounding Peru's Palpa valley has revealed a remarkable network of geometric and zoomorphic forms etched in the desert floor. Created by the Nazca, a pre-Incan civilization that flourished from about 200 BCE to about 600 CE, the Nazca Lines span about 200 sq mi (500 sq km). The glyphs are only recognizable as coherent figures from the air, but the Nazca never possessed the technology to view them from that vantage point. Why, then, did they create them? More...
This Day in History

Jack Kevorkian Convicted of Second-Degree Murder (1999)

By 1998, Dr. Jack Kevorkian had been prosecuted numerous times—without being convicted—for the deaths of terminally ill patients whose suicides he had admittedly assisted. However, after the TV program 60 Minutes aired a videotape of him administering a lethal injection to a man who was too physically debilitated to commit suicide on his own, Kevorkian was charged with murder. He chose to defend himself in court and was convicted. He was paroled eight years later under what conditions? More...
Today's Birthday

Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753)

A scientist and inventor, Thompson was perhaps the first person to recognize heat as a form of motion, at a time when many believed it to be a substance. He invented various heat-related items, including a double boiler, a drip coffeepot, thermal underwear, and a more efficient fireplace. After he was denied a commission in the Continental Army, Thompson spied for the British in the American Revolution. When he had to flee the country, what particularly notable thing did he leave behind? More...
Quotation of the Day
A woman's heart must be of such a size and no larger, else it must be pressed small, like Chinese feet; her happiness is to be made as cakes are, by a fixed recipe.

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Idiom of the Day

catch (the) headlines

To be featured on the headlines of news articles, as due to being particularly important, popular, fashionable, etc. More...
Today's Holiday

Seward's Day (2018)

When William Henry Seward, Secretary of State for President Andrew Johnson, signed the treaty authorizing the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia for $7 million on March 30, 1867, most Americans thought he was crazy. But public opinion quickly changed when gold was discovered in the region, and its natural gas, coal, and oil reserves, in addition to its seafood and lumber industries, have proved to be far more valuable than its gold. Unfortunately, Seward did not live to see his foresight commemorated as a legal holiday in the state of Alaska. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: navel

omphalos - From the Greek word meaning "navel"—for the round stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi supposed to mark the center of the earth—it describes the center, heart, or hub of a place, organization, or sphere of activity. More...

omphaloskepsis - Contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation. More...

navel, umbilicus, belly button, omphalodium - The navel is also the umbilicus, belly button, or omphalodium; navel and umbilicus share the same Indo-European root. More...

umbilical - From Latin umbilicus, "navel." More...

In the News

Why Origami Machines May Unlock Secrets of Mars and the Universe

If some NASA researchers have their way, Mars exploration technology of the future may rely on an art form from the past. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER) prototype that could change how we ... More...
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