Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, July 6, 2015)
Word of the Day

vibrissa

Definition:(noun) Any of the long stiff hairs that project from the snout or brow of most mammals, as the whiskers of a cat.
Synonyms:whisker, sensory hair
Usage: The mouse's vibrissae alerted it to the presence of a predator.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. What else can it show? More...
Article of the Day

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel refers to a family of trees and shrubs found in Japan, China, and North America. They are deciduous shrubs that usually grow 10-26 ft (3-8 m) tall but can reach 40 ft (12 m). The fruit of the witch hazel is a two-parted capsule, 1 cm long, that bursts in Autumn and shoots seeds up to 33 ft (10 m) away. The plant's hard wood is used in cabinet making, and an astringent is extracted from its bark and leaves. The plant's branches have been used in what form of divination? More...
This Day in History

Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)

Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum that sank into the sea after a series of explosions and a massive fire, killing 167 men. Only 59 of the workers survived. The initial blast is believed to have resulted from the activation of a pump that was missing a safety valve. A poorly planned evacuation process exacerbated the disaster. Why did nearby platforms continue to pump gas and oil to Piper Alpha after it was engulfed in flames? More...
Today's Birthday

Annette Kellerman (1887)

Kellerman was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star, and writer. Her 1907 performance of "water ballet" is often credited with popularizing the sport of synchronized swimming. Kellerman was also known for advocating the right of women to wear one-piece bathing suits and was once famously arrested for indecency for doing so herself. In 1908, a Harvard University professor named her the "Perfect Woman" because of the similarity of her physical attributes to what figure? More...
Quotation of the Day
A mother is a mother still,
The holiest thing alive.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Idiom of the Day

flip (one's) wig

To react to something, good or bad, with strong emotion. More...
Today's Holiday

Great Schooner Race (2018)

The Great Schooner Race is held off the shore of Rockland, Maine. Since 1977 the race has featured schooners from the Maine Windjammer Association and a number of other large sailing ships—usually 25 to 30 in all. The race begins at Isleboro Island and ends in Rockland, where the boats parade through Penobscot Bay. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: lean

extenuate - Comes from the Latin verb extenuare, "make thin or lean," and originally meant "to treat as of small importance, make light of." More...

macilent - Means "lean, thin" or "shriveled," i.e. lacking in substance. More...

recubation, recumb - Recubation is reclining in a near-horizontal position; to recumb is to "lean, recline, rest." More...

streaky - Describes bacon with alternating strips of fat and lean. More...

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