Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 22, 2016)
Word of the Day

irk

Definition:(verb) To be irritating, wearisome, or vexing to.
Synonyms:gall
Usage: The sight of her gave Sheldon fresh courage, and the tedious hours of waiting did not irk him.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Singular vs. Plural Use of "There"

The dummy pronoun "there" can be used in either a singular or plural context. When it is used in a singular context, the correlating nouns and verbs have singular endings. When it is used in a plural context, what endings do the corresponding nouns and verbs have? More...
Article of the Day

Atomic Force Microscope

With a demonstrated resolution of fractions of a nanometer, the atomic force microscope (AFM) is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. Unlike the electron microscope, which provides a two-dimensional image of a sample, the AFM provides a true 3-D surface profile. Though the term "microscope" suggests the visual study of minute samples, this high-tech device functions in an entirely different manner. How does the AFM gather information? More...
This Day in History

First Successful Trial Run of a Steamboat (1787)

John Fitch was a man plagued by misfortune. His first foundry was a failure and his second was destroyed in the American Revolution. During a short-lived career as a surveyor in the early 1780s, he was captured by Native Americans. His luck finally seemed to turn around in 1786, when he built the first steamboat in the US, and in 1787, when he demonstrated his aptly named Perseverance on the Delaware River for an audience from the Constitutional Convention. Was his good fortune to last? More...
Today's Birthday

Denis Papin (1647)

Unappreciated in his time, Papin was a French physicist and inventor who significantly advanced the development of steam power. In 1679, he invented a steam digester that was the forerunner of the pressure cooker, in the process demonstrating the influence of atmospheric pressure on boiling points. His observations of his digester then led him to design a steam-driven piston that became the basis for early steam engines. Despite his innovations, he died in relative obscurity. Where is he buried? More...
Quotation of the Day
Few are qualified to shine in company; but it is in most men's power to be agreeable.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

plastic grin

A forced, artificial smile; a smile someone wears despite having no feelings of happiness or joy. More...
Today's Holiday

Bayreuth Festival (2018)

This internationally famous, month-long festival in Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany, celebrates the music of Richard Wagner. Performances are in the Festspielhaus (Festival Theater) designed by Wagner himself specifically for the presentation of his works. The festival was launched with the first complete performance of the four-opera Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), triumphantly presented in the new Festspielhaus (Festival Theater) on Aug. 13, 14, 16, and 17, 1876. Except for wartime interruptions, the festival has been staged every year since then. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: hungry

esurient - If you are esurient, you are hungry. More...

In the News

Did Fingers Evolve from Fish Fins?

We were all fish once – well, our human ancestors were. But how did ocean swimmers evolve to scuttle around on land? It would have taken a certain dexterity that fins wouldn't have allowed, but fingers and fins seem like such different structures. Scientists ... More...
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