Daily Content Archive

(as of Tuesday, May 25, 2021)
Word of the Day

savoir-faire

Definition:(noun) The ability to say or do the right or graceful thing.
Synonyms:diplomacy, discretion, finesse, poise, tact, urbanity
Usage: While greeting the prince in the ballroom, I stumbled over my words, but my sister—with all her savoir-faire—knew just what to say.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Perfective and Imperfective Aspect

The perfective aspect highlights actions, states, or events as a whole. The imperfective aspect is used when we focus on the internal structures of an action. What is the continuous aspect? More...
Article of the Day

Project Habakkuk

It seems like pure folly to build a ship—let alone a giant aircraft carrier—out of ice, but during World War II, that is exactly what inventor Geoffrey Pyke proposed the Allies do. While plain ice—the kind put in drinks—is not strong or durable enough for such a task, Pyke believed a composite material made of wood pulp and ice would be. For much of 1943, a multinational team based in Canada toiled to realize a ship made of pykrete—a portmanteau of Pyke and concrete. Did the project succeed? More...
This Day in History

"Spider Dan" Scales 110-Story Sears Tower (1981)

After witnessing a deadly high-rise hotel fire, Dan Goodwin resolved to call attention to the need for better skyscraper firefighting and rescue techniques. Six months after the blaze, he donned a homemade Spider-Man suit and, using suction cups and climbing gear, began an ascent of Chicago's Sears Tower—then the world's tallest building. He reached the top seven hours later and was promptly arrested. What structure—formerly the world's tallest—did he climb with no equipment, twice in one day? More...
Today's Birthday

Igor Sikorsky (1889)

After studying engineering in Kiev, Sikorsky devoted himself to developing the helicopter. In 1910, after failing to build a workable model, he turned to fixed-wing airplane design, and, several years later, he built and flew the first multi-motored plane, a four-engine aircraft with an innovative enclosed cabin. Sikorsky immigrated to the US in 1919 and had continued success designing airplanes. How long would it be before he finally realized his dream of building his first working helicopter? More...
Quotation of the Day
Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, but seldom or never where the elder are disinherited.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Idiom of the Day

king of the jungle

The lion, especially in cultural or artistic depictions. (Usually a misnomer, as lions typically inhabit deserts or dry forests, as opposed to jungles.) More...
Today's Holiday

Argentine National Day (2021)

Argentina was one of a number of Spanish colonies controlled by the Spanish viceroy in Lima, Peru. On May 25, 1810, Buenos Aires declared its independence from the viceroyalty but continued to pledge loyalty to the Spanish crown. May 25 is observed throughout the country as the anniversary of the revolution; independence from Spain wasn't declared until July 9, 1816. Both days are national holidays and are observed with religious services at the cathedral and special performances at the Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: months

fetus - A human embryo starts to be called a fetus at nine weeks. More...

Catholic twins - Siblings born within 12 months of each other. More...

half-birthday - One's half-birthday is the day exactly six months before or after one's real birth date. More...

semester - First meant six months, as it comes from Latin semestris, "of six months." More...

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