Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, June 22, 2015)
Word of the Day

aguacate

Definition:(noun) A pear-shaped tropical fruit with green or blackish skin and rich yellowish pulp enclosing a single large seed.
Synonyms:alligator pear, avocado, avocado pear
Usage: Jim prepared his special aguacate dip and served it with tortilla chips.
Daily Grammar Lesson

The Modal Verbs

A modal auxiliary verb is used to change the meaning of other verbs (commonly known as main verbs) by expressing modality—that is, asserting (or denying) possibility, likelihood, ability, permission, obligation, or future intention. What are the nine "true" modal auxiliary verbs? More...
Article of the Day

Porcelain

Porcelain is a white, hard, nonporous pottery which is resonant when struck. It was first made by the Chinese to withstand the great heat generated in certain parts of their kilns. The two natural substances used were kaolin and a feldspar mineral called petuntse that forms a glassy cement. In Europe porcelain was first commercially produced in the early 1700s. Most of the European porcelain is soft paste and is not as strong as the Chinese hard-paste porcelain. What is bone china? More...
This Day in History

The Hammond Circus Train Wreck (1918)

On the morning of June 22, 1918, a locomotive pulling empty passenger cars rear-ended the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus train near Hammond, Indiana. The wreck and subsequent fire—likely ignited by the oil lamps in the circus train's wooden sleeping cars—resulted in 86 deaths and 127 injuries. Most of the dead were buried five days later in a nearby cemetery, their graves marked with nicknames like "Baldy" and "Smiley" since many bodies could not be formally identified. What caused the collision? More...
Today's Birthday

Erich Maria Remarque (1898)

Drafted into the German army at age 18, Remarque served in World War I and was wounded several times. From his experience of trench warfare, he drew a grimly realistic picture of the horror of battle in his first novel and masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front. It was an immediate international success, and Remarque went on to write several other novels. All Quiet on the Western Front was later burned by the Nazis, who guillotined which of his family members in 1943? More...
Quotation of the Day
I didn't want to work. It was as simple as that. I distrusted work, disliked it. I thought it was a very bad thing that the human race had unfortunately invented for itself.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976)

Idiom of the Day

miss the mark

To be slightly or somewhat mistaken, incorrect, or inaccurate. More...
Today's Holiday

Midsummer (Sweden) (2018)

The Swedish begin their Midsommar celebration on the Friday before Midsummer Eve and continue through Sunday. Every town and village sets up a maypole, or Majstang, which is decorated with flowers, leaves, and flags. The province of Dalarna, where some of Sweden's oldest wooden cottages have been preserved, is a popular place to spend the Midsommar festival weekend. The Swedes call Midsommar "the day that never ends," because the sun doesn't begin to set until 10:00 p.m. and it rises again at 2:00 a.m. In areas that lie above the Arctic Circle, the sun shines 24 hours a day for six weeks. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: plastic

aglet - The plastic or metal covering on the end of a shoelace (formerly called the point) that makes it easier to thread through the eyelet holes. More...

plastic - From Greek plastos, "to form, mold." More...

plastic surgery - Dates to 1837; "plastic" is used in the sense of "molding, shaping." More...

velo binding - A type of document fastener using a narrow strip of plastic on the front and back and attached with thin plastic pegs through the pages; also called velobind. More...

In the News

Sleep or Die -- Growing Body of Research Warns of Heart Attacks, Strokes

We have all experienced the aftermath of a bad night's sleep: grogginess, irritability, difficulty carrying out even the simplest of tasks. A growing amount of research suggests that not getting enough shut-eye could also have insidious effects on heart ... More...
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