Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, April 8, 2018)
Word of the Day

squashy

Definition:(adjective) (Of soil) soft and watery.
Synonyms:boggy, marshy, miry, mucky, muddy, quaggy, sloughy, soggy, swampy, waterlogged, sloppy
Usage: The grass began to get squashy, and Kala Nag's feet sucked and squelched as he put them down.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Functions of Major Demonstrative Pronouns

The most common demonstrative pronouns are "this," "that," "these," and "those." Each describes something that is either singular or plural and either near or not near to the speaker. Demonstrative pronouns can also be used to indicate more abstract things, such as what? More...
Article of the Day

The Monty Hall Problem

Named after the host of the game show Let's Make a Deal, the Monty Hall problem is a probability puzzle that has a history of stumping even respected mathematicians. In this problem, a game show contestant is asked to choose one of three doors. There is a car behind one and goats behind the other two. He picks door 1, but the host, who knows what is behind each door, opens door 3 to reveal a goat. The host then asks the player if he wants to switch to door 2. Should the player switch? More...
This Day in History

The WPA Is Established (1935)

Part of US President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program, the Works Progress—later Projects—Administration aimed to stimulate the economy during the Great Depression and preserve the skills and self-respect of unemployed persons by providing them useful work. By the time it was terminated in 1943, the WPA had employed 8.5 million people and funded the construction of roads, buildings, bridges, parks, and airports—as well as the production of art. What did critics pejoratively call the WPA? More...
Today's Birthday

Mary Pickford (1892)

One of the first movie stars, Pickford earned a reputation as "America's Sweetheart" by playing a series of innocent, curly-haired young women on the silent screen. She was also a shrewd businesswoman. After cofounding United Artists, she came to exert a profound influence on the film industry as one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. In 1927, she became one of the original founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For what role did Pickford win an Academy Award? More...
Quotation of the Day
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken—it may be fair words shall prevail.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Idiom of the Day

Marie Celeste

A place, location, or high-occupancy vehicle (especially a ship) that is inexplicably deserted or abandoned. An allusion to the Mary Celeste, an American merchant brigatine that was discovered floating off the Azores Islands in 1872 with no one on board and still in seaworthy condition. (Note: The variant spelling of "Marie" is the more common usage for the idiomatic reference, likely due to its use in a story by Arthur Conan Doyle.) More...
Today's Holiday

Tater Days (2018)

Considered the oldest trade day in the U.S., Tater Days is now a celebration of the sweet potato in Benton, Kentucky. The event started in 1843 when sweet potatoes were a staple crop of the area. Today the "tater" is honored with a parade, flea market, gospel music, arts and crafts exhibits, and a Miss Tater Day contest. Most of the food served is some kind of sweet potato concoction. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: orbit

apsis - The extreme point of an orbit. More...

eccentric - First meant "not concentric" as it referred to an orbit in which the Earth was not precisely in the center or straying from a circular path; the area where two circles overlap is the eccentric. More...

exorbitant - Originally a legal term for a case outside of the scope of a law; since it implies going "out of orbit," it also first meant "deviating from the true path." More...

orbit - First meant "eye socket"; the eye is located in the eye socket or orbit. More...

In the News

Venus' clouds could host extraterrestrial life, researchers say

Life could exist just one planet removed from Earth, according to new research. A paper published last week in the peer-reviewed journal "Astrobiology" takes a look at the second rock from the Sun -- Venus -- as well as its atmosphere to expand on a ... More...
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