Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, June 24, 2019)
Word of the Day

billow

Definition:(verb) Rise up as if in waves.
Synonyms:wallow
Usage: Smoke from the burning building billowed up into the sky, obscuring the sun.
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

Planetariums

A planetarium is a building that houses an optical device, also called a planetarium, that projects images of celestial bodies and other astronomical phenomena onto a domed ceiling. The first modern planetarium was constructed in 1924 for the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. The "space race" of the 1950s and 60s boosted global interest in planetariums, and by the end of the 20th century, there were more than 100 major planetariums worldwide. What device was the forerunner of the planetarium? 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
Misery generates hate.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

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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