Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, December 16, 2017)
Word of the Day

tangential

Definition:(adjective) Only superficially relevant; divergent.
Synonyms:digressive
Usage: His tangential anecdotes added much-needed humor to the talk, though some found the digressions tiresome.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Introducing Lists with Colons

The most commonly cited use for a colon is to introduce a list of information. In many cases, the list is simply an extension of the existing sentence. What is this type of list known as? More...
Article of the Day

The Antonine Plague

Lasting from 165 to 180 CE, the Antonine Plague was a pandemic, either of smallpox or measles, brought to the Roman Empire by troops returning from campaigns in the Near East. The epidemic killed off entire towns and claimed the lives of two Roman emperors—Lucius Verus and his co-regent Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, whose family name was given to the plague. It resurged again nine years later and had drastic social and political effects throughout the empire. What was its estimated death toll? More...
This Day in History

Last Recorded Eruption of Mount Fuji Begins (1707)

Majestic Mount Fuji, located about 60 mi (100 km) from Tokyo, is the tallest mountain in Japan. The beauty of the snowcapped symmetrical cone, ringed by lakes and virgin forests, has inspired Japanese poets and painters throughout the centuries. Though the volcano is classified as active, its last major eruption began on December 16, 1707, and ended in early 1708. As a sacred mountain, Mount Fuji is a traditional pilgrimage site, but the Aokigahara forest at its base is a popular site for what? More...
Today's Birthday

Margaret Mead (1901)

A prolific writer and avid speaker, anthropologist Margaret Mead was instrumental in popularizing the anthropological concept of culture in the US. Though many later anthropologists have questioned both the accuracy of her observations and the soundness of her conclusions, she remains highly regarded for her many contributions to the field. Over the course of her career, Mead made numerous field trips to observe the peoples of Oceania. What question did she hope to answer on her first such trip? More...
Quotation of the Day
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Idiom of the Day

(one's) moment in the sun

A brief period of time in which one is or has been particularly successful, popular, famous, etc., especially when set against an otherwise moderate or unremarkable life. More...
Today's Holiday

Day of Reconciliation (2021)

The South African legal holiday known as the Day of Reconciliation was established on December 16, 1838, in commemoration of the victory of the Voortrekkers over Dingane and the Zulus. The original name for this holiday was Dingaan's Day, then it was called Day of the Vow during apartheid. After South Africa renounced apartheid and held its first democratic election in 1994, the day remained a legal holiday but acquired a new name to reflect its new focus: promoting national unity and healing. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: mushroom

mushroom - Before it was a mushroom, it was called either toadstool or funge, from Latin fungus; small mushrooms are called "buttons," medium-sized ones are "cups," and the largest are "flat" or "open" mushrooms. More...

fly agaric - A mushroom with a narcotic juice that, in sufficient quantities, is poisonous. More...

pileated - Etymologically means "capped," like a mushroom, but now refers to a bird with a crest on the top of the head from the bill to the nape. More...

shiitake - Japanese for "evergreen beech, chinquapin" (shii) and "mushroom" (take). More...

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