Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, June 24, 2016)
Word of the Day

gamboge

Definition:(noun) A strong yellow color.
Synonyms:lemon yellow, maize, lemon
Usage: His blood may be gamboge yellow with green spots, for all anybody knows.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Gender in Nouns

There are some instances in which nouns are declined to show masculine or feminine gender. How is a noun made feminine? More...
Article of the Day

Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a roller-like object made from hard stone, glass, or ceramics and engraved with a "picture story." Used in ancient times to roll an impression onto wet clay, seals incorporated sociological or religious images and were used to mark graves, doors, storage jars, amulets, and cloth. Later, they were even used to notarize clay documents. What ancient ruler is featured on a famous cylinder that depicts him aiming his bow at a lion? More...
This Day in History

Emperor Trajan Inaugurates the Aqua Traiana (109 CE)

The Aqua Traiana was an aqueduct built under Roman Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century CE. The structure channeled water to Rome from sources around Lake Bracciano, about 25 mi (40 km) northwest of the city. In 1605, Pope Paul V initiated the Aqua Traiana's repair to augment the city's water supply. Renamed the Acqua Paola in the pope's honor, it was completed in 1612 and boasted a lavish fountain with columns of granite and marble. What is meant by the Roman saying "as good as the Acqua Paola"? More...
Today's Birthday

Henry Ward Beecher (1813)

Beecher became one of the most famous and influential American ministers of his time for his advocacy of an emotional "gospel of love" Christianity. Every important issue of the day was discussed from his pulpit and in his lectures. He was a leader in the antislavery movement, a proponent of women's suffrage, and an advocate of the theory of evolution. In 1874, however, he became the subject of a sensational adultery trial for an alleged affair with Elizabeth Tilton. What was the verdict? More...
Quotation of the Day
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Idiom of the Day

a living soul

A person (who is alive). (Often used in the negative to mean "nobody.") More...
Today's Holiday

Human Towers of Valls (2021)

On St. John's Day in the city of Valls in the Catalan region of Spain, a touring acrobatic company, or comparsa, presents the human tower of Valls. The acrobats form human towers or pyramids with four to six men at the base and one or more children at the top. The towers can extend to eight times a man's height, and they are formed to the musical accompaniment of the gralla, or native oboe. There is a point during the performance at which the children on top salute, the music ceases, and the entire structure stands immobile for several seconds before collapsing gracefully to the ground. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: sailing

aloof - Comes from sailing, in which ships keep clear of coastal rocks by holding the vessel "luff"—"to the windward"; so, to hold "a-luff" means to "keep clear." More...

jibe - Meaning "be compatible, consistent," it may come from the earlier jibe, "to shift a sail from side to side while sailing in the wind." More...

plain sailing - Probably comes from plane sailing, a way of determining a ship's position based on its moving on a plane (flat surface). More...

aback - Originated in sailing, as a ship was taken aback when a strong gust of wind suddenly blew the sails back against the mast, causing the ship to stop momentarily. More...

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