Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, May 15, 2021)
Word of the Day

malodor

Definition:(noun) A distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant.
Synonyms:fetor, reek, stench, stink, mephitis
Usage: The malodor from the skunk filled the night air and sent us running indoors.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Semi-Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Semi-modal auxiliary verbs, often simply called semi-modal verbs, are verbs that sometimes behave like modal auxiliary verbs. What four verbs are widely considered the standard set of semi-modal verbs? More...
Article of the Day

Alain Robert, the French Spider-Man

Robert is one of the world's most famous builderers. The so-called French Spider-Man got his start scaling buildings as a youngster and, despite several early falls that left him permanently disabled, has gone on to climb some of the world’s most famous and tallest man-made structures, including the Eiffel Tower, Sears Tower, Taipei 101, and many more. Because most of his climbs are unsanctioned, he is often arrested when he reaches the top. What gear does he typically use during his climbs? More...
This Day in History

The Great Gold Robbery (1855)

On the night of May 15, 1855, a shipment of gold bars and coins was sent from London to Paris, first via the South Eastern Railway and then on a ship across the English Channel. When the shipment arrived in Boulogne, France, the containers—all of which were locked and sealed—were found to be missing a large amount of the gold, worth about 12,000 British pounds at the time. The missing weight had been replaced with lead shot. A group of men was later arrested for the theft. How had they done it? More...
Today's Birthday

Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (1857)

Shortly after Fleming emigrated from Scotland to the US with her husband, their marriage failed. Forced to support herself, she worked as a housekeeper for the director of the Harvard College Observatory, who soon hired her to do clerical work at the observatory. She quickly rose through the ranks and went on to make significant contributions to the field of astronomy—classifying thousands of stars and discovering numerous variable stars and novae. At what age did her formal education end? More...
Quotation of the Day
When one pays a visit it is for the purpose of wasting other people's time, not one's own.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

intestinal fortitude

Strong courage, conviction, or determination; gumption; guts. More...
Today's Holiday

Race of the Ceri (2021)

The Race of the Ceri (Candles) held in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy, every May 15 is thought by some to have originated in pre-Christian times because its date coincides with the Ides of May in the pagan calendar, but the better-founded explanation is that it commemorates the city's patron, St. Ubaldo Baldassini. The candles for which the event is named are heavy, tower-like structures reinforced with iron bands. These are taken in procession to the Piazza dei Consoli; then, upon a signal, the bearers run with the candles up to the top of Mount Ingino, where they are offered to St. Ubaldo. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: theatre

box office - An office in a theatre for booking seats, originally from "hiring a box." More...

in the wings - An expression from the theatre, referring to the areas on the sides of the stage hidden from the audience. More...

scenery, scenic - Scenery was originally theatrical—"a stage depiction of nature"—and it came to be applied to nature itself; scenic first pertained to the theatre and meant "dramatic, theatrical." More...

house - The audience at a theatre. More...

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