Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, April 2, 2016)
Word of the Day

fumigate

Definition:(verb) To subject to smoke or fumes, usually in order to exterminate pests or disinfect.
Synonyms:fume
Usage: When we found out there was an infestation next door, we considered fumigating our house too.
Daily Grammar Lesson

The Anticipatory "It"

There are a number of other situations where "it" can be used as a dummy pronoun, without pertaining to weather, distance, or time. What is the anticipatory "it"? More...
Article of the Day

The Virus: Is It Really Alive?

A virus is a minute infectious agent that, in general, cannot be seen with a light microscope. It lacks an independent metabolism and is able to replicate only within a living host cell. A free virus particle does not carry out the functions of a living cell, such as respiration and growth, and may be thought of as a packaging device by which viral genetic material can be introduced into appropriate host cells. What are the arguments for and against classifying viruses as living organisms? More...
This Day in History

Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak (1979)

Known as the "biological Chernobyl," the accidental release of anthrax at a Russian military facility in Sverdlovsk—now Yekaterinburg—roughly 900 mi (1,450 km) east of Moscow, sickened and killed around 100 people. The exact number of victims remains unknown because, as part of the Soviet government's cover-up of the incident, which it blamed on tainted meat, all of the victims' medical records were destroyed. What fortuitous weather condition likely prevented a much greater loss of life? More...
Today's Birthday

Giacomo Casanova (1725)

Although his name is now synonymous with philandering playboys, Casanova was initially a man of the church. Expelled from an Italian seminary for scandalous conduct, he was later denounced as a magician and imprisoned. He escaped and traveled widely before becoming a spy for Venetian inquisitors. His huge autobiography, first published in 12 volumes, paints a vivid picture of 18th-century Europe and established his reputation as a seducer. He spent his last years in what rather tame occupation? More...
Quotation of the Day
Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Idiom of the Day

like rats abandoning a sinking ship

With great haste and having only personal well-being in mind. (Typically said of people who begin abandoning something or someone that is failing or about to fail.) More...
Today's Holiday

International Children's Book Day (2021)

This day, which is observed by countries all over the world, is held on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2, because the Danish author's stories have been favorites among children of all nationalities. Celebrations include contests in which children illustrate their favorite books. Every two years the International Board on Books for Young People sponsors the Hans Christian Andersen medals, which are awarded to a children's book author and a children's book illustrator for their contributions to children's literature. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: lapis lazuli

azure stone - Another name for the lapis lazuli. More...

lapis lazuli - A sky-blue semiprecious stone, it is pronounced lap-us-LAY-zuh-lee. More...

sapphire - From Greek sappheiros, "lapis lazuli" or "blue stone." More...

ultramarine - First a blue pigment made from lapis lazuli, imported from Asia by sea, so, in Latin, it was ultramarinus, "beyond the seas." More...

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