Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 16, 2017)
Word of the Day

navel

Definition:(noun) The mark on the surface of the abdomen of mammals where the umbilical cord was attached during gestation.
Synonyms:bellybutton, omphalos, umbilicus
Usage: The first-graders were awed by Tom's navel, which protruded outward in classic "outie" fashion.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Using Quotation Marks across Multiple Paragraphs

Quotation marks almost always travel as a pair, with a closing quotation mark required anytime an opening quotation mark is used. There is one specific exception to this rule, however, which occurs when quoted text spans multiple paragraphs. When this happens, we put an opening quotation mark at the beginning of each quoted paragraph. Where do we put the closing quotation mark? More...
Article of the Day

Self-Replicating Spacecraft

A self-replicating spacecraft is an entity that would, in theory, be able to travel to a neighboring star-system and extract raw materials from celestial bodies to create replicas of itself. Such replicas could then be sent to other star systems, repeating the process in an exponentially increasing pattern. Using relatively conventional theoretical methods of interstellar travel, how long would it take for self-replicating spacecrafts to spread throughout the Milky Way Galaxy? More...
This Day in History

The Soweto Riots (1976)

In 1974, the South African government passed a decree making it mandatory for black schools to split instruction between English and Afrikaans—a language that many associated with the segregationist apartheid government. Two years later, at least 10,000 people—most of them young students—marched to Orlando Stadium in the city of Soweto to protest the change. Violence erupted when police began firing shots, and the resulting Soweto Riots continued for months. How many died during the riots? More...
Today's Birthday

John Howard Griffin (1920)

Griffin was an American author who darkened his white skin with medication and sunlamps in order to experience the racial segregation of the southern US. He described his experiences in his controversial 1961 book Black Like Me, which details his interactions with others—both white and black—and the problems he encountered while traveling and attempting to meet basic needs. It is often recounted that Griffin died from skin cancer resulting from his efforts to darken his skin. Is it true? More...
Quotation of the Day
Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

Idiom of the Day

mess of pottage

Something of little, trivial, or no value but which appears to be attractive or valuable on first reckoning. An allusion to Esau in Genesis 25:29–32, who sells to Jacob his birthright to his family's estate for a bowl of lentil stew (pottage). More...
Today's Holiday

Election of the Mayor of Ock Street (2018)

During the 18th century, it was customary for the people of Abingdon to roast a black ox on St. Edmund of Abingdon's Feast Day (June 19). In 1700 an argument arose during the ox roast over who would get the horns, and a man named Hemmings took possession of the horns. The crowd hailed him as the "Mayor of Ock Street." Today, only people who live on Ock Street may vote for the mayor. The winner toasts his election by drinking from a special applewood chalice, and he is carried through the streets in a flower-decorated chair by the Abingdon Morris dancers. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: similarity

eye rhyme - A similarity between words in spelling but not pronunciation—like dove and move. More...

icon - Originally a "simile" in rhetoric; its etymological idea is of "similarity," from Greek eikon, "likeness, similarity." More...

goose pimples - Named for their similarity to the skin of a plucked goose. More...

lens - From Latin for "lentil," because of the similarity in shape. More...

In the News

New Evidence that All Stars Are Born in Pairs

Did our sun have a twin when it was born 4.5 billion years ago? Almost certainly yes - though not an identical twin. And so did every other sunlike star in the universe, according to a new analysis by a theoretical physicist from UC Berkeley and a radio ... More...
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