Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, April 28, 2015)
Word of the Day

mercurial

Definition:(adjective) Quick and changeable in temperament.
Synonyms:quicksilver, erratic, fickle, volatile
Usage: Her mercurial nature made it difficult to gauge how she would react.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Defining Major and Minor Sentences

A major sentence (also called a "regular sentence") is any complete sentence that is made up of or contains an independent clause—that is, it has both a subject and a predicate (a verb and any of its constituent parts). What is a minor (or "irregular") sentence? More...
Article of the Day

Teddy Bears

The teddy bear is a traditional stuffed toy bear for children. One legend has it that the name originates from an incident involving Theodore Roosevelt, whose attendants found and caught an old injured bear during a hunting trip. "Teddy" refused to kill the animal, however, calling it "unsportsmanlike." "Teddy's Bear" was immediately publicized by political cartoonists, and its stuffed animal form began selling in stores shortly thereafter. Where is the world's first teddy bear museum located? More...
This Day in History

Mutiny on the HMS Bounty (1789)

The most famous mutiny in history, the setting adrift of Bounty captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal crew members in a longboat, has been much debated. Opponents of the captain claim his tyranny drove the crew to mutiny, but Bligh blamed their betrayal on their newfound love of Tahiti—where they had just spent five months—and its women. The captain and some of those with him survived the ordeal at sea, reaching Timor after a remarkable two-month voyage. What became of the mutineers? More...
Today's Birthday

Yi Sun-Sin (1545)

Considered a Korean national hero, Yi was a naval commander who repelled the Japanese invasion of Korea in the late 16th century. He is said to have been undefeated in any naval battle in which he was a commander. Part of his success in combat was due to his innovative "turtle ship," which was covered with iron spikes and plates to prevent enemies from boarding. The ship's bow featured a dragon head, through which a cannon could be fired. Why was Yi relieved of command in 1597? More...
Quotation of the Day
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)

Idiom of the Day

high muckety-muck

slang An especially important, influential, and authoritative person, especially someone who is overbearingly or arrogantly so. More...
Today's Holiday

Butter and Egg Days (2018)

This is a promotional event in Petaluma, California, that recalls the historic days when Petaluma was the "World's Egg Basket," producing millions of eggs that were shipped all over the world. The first Butter and Egg Days was a modest affair in 1983; it now draws about 25,000 for a parade with floats, bands, bagpipers, and children dressed as such things as butter pats and fried eggs. There are also street fairs, an antiques show, an egg toss, a butter-churning contest, and the presentation of the Good Egg award to a Petaluma booster. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: streets

bed push - A fundraising event, sometimes run by hospitals, in which a wheeled bed is pushed through the streets to raise awareness of the campaign. More...

on the wagon - Before paved roads, horse-drawn water wagons sprayed the streets to settle the dust, and anyone who had sworn abstinence from alcohol was said to have "climbed aboard the water wagon," later shortened to "on the wagon." More...

juggernaut - Derived from Sanskrit Jagannamacrtha, "lord of the world," a title of Krishna, worshipped at an annual festival by the dragging of his image through the streets in a heavy chariot. More...

one-way - Came into English in 1906 in reference to travel tickets, in 1914 in reference to streets, and in 1940 in reference to windows, mirrors, etc. More...

In the News

7-Year-Old Fossil Fan Helped Discover Dinosaur

With help from a fossil-loving schoolboy, scientists have unveiled a bizarre mishmash of a dinosaur that was a distant cousin of uber-predator Tyrannosaurus rex – but also a committed vegetarian. Eleven years ago, Diego Suarez was 7 and on a research ... More...
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