Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, April 2, 2017)
Word of the Day

appurtenance

Definition:(noun) Equipment, such as clothing, tools, or instruments, used for a specific purpose or task.
Synonyms:paraphernalia, gear
Usage: He had half expected that she would drive up to the side door in a hansom, would wear a thick veil, and adopt the other appurtenances of a clandestine meeting.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Third Conditional

Third conditional sentences have a past perfect verb in the "if clause" and have a past participle verb in the main clause, preceded by the auxiliary verbs "would have." What do third conditional sentences describe? More...
Article of the Day

Deadly Nightshade

Although deadly nightshade, a perennial herbaceous plant that has bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries, is related to potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants, it is one of the most toxic plants found in the Western Hemisphere. It contains alkaloids that can cause tachycardia, hallucinations, blurred vision, and, in extreme cases, death. Also known as belladonna, meaning "beautiful lady" in Italian, the plant was once used cosmetically by women to enhance the appearance of what feature? More...
This Day in History

Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (1979)

Known as the "biological Chernobyl," the accidental release of anthrax at a Russian military facility in Sverdlovsk—now Yekaterinburg—roughly 900 mi (1,450 km) east of Moscow, sickened and killed around 100 people. The exact number of victims remains unknown because, as part of the Soviet government's cover-up of the incident, which it blamed on tainted meat, all of the victims' medical records were destroyed. What fortuitous weather condition likely prevented a much greater loss of life? More...
Today's Birthday

Giacomo Casanova (1725)

Although his name is now synonymous with philandering playboys, Casanova was initially a man of the church. Expelled from an Italian seminary for scandalous conduct, he was later denounced as a magician and imprisoned. He escaped and traveled widely before becoming a spy for Venetian inquisitors. His huge autobiography, first published in 12 volumes, paints a vivid picture of 18th-century Europe and established his reputation as a seducer. He spent his last years in what rather tame occupation? More...
Quotation of the Day
Wit is educated insolence.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

Idiom of the Day

the march of time

The steady, unstoppable advancement of time. More...
Today's Holiday

Georgiritt (2018)

St. George is honored each year at Traunstein in Bavaria, Germany, on Easter Monday to commemorate the legend of George's victory over the dragon that was threatening the pagan city of Sylene. Because St. George is usually depicted on horseback, the farmers of Traunstein decorate their own horses with garlands and ribbons and ride them across the fields and three times around the parish church. After the local priest blesses the horses and other animals, the procession turns toward the village. The festival ends with ritualistic sword dances that have been handed down from medieval times. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: punch

punch buggy - A game in which the first player to call "punch buggy!" on sighting a Volkswagen Beetle gets to punch the other person. More...

doust - A firm blow or punch. More...

pack a punch, pack it in - Pack a punch is of U.S. origin from the 1920s, as is pack it in. More...

punch - Has an obscure origin, but stories include it being from Sanskrit panca, "five/five kinds of," as the drink had five ingredients. More...

In the News

A 20-Mile Long 'Spacescraper' Dangling from an Asteroid: Could It Work?

It’s a new approach to an old idea. While Jonathan Swift’s fantastical island city of Laputa stayed aloft via magnets, a New York City design firm envisions using an orbiting asteroid to hang a skyscraper above the Earth. Clouds Architecture Office espouses a ... More...
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