Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, July 29, 2020)
Word of the Day

purloin

Definition:(verb) To steal, often in a violation of trust.
Synonyms:cabbage, filch, pilfer, snarf, swipe, abstract, nobble, pinch, sneak, hook, lift
Usage: Someone at the party purloined my emerald ring!
Daily Grammar Lesson

Subordinating Conjunctions and Hypothetical Situations

We use the subordinating conjunctions "even if," "if," "as long as," "in case," "provided that," and "providing" when referring to a hypothetical situation. Which of those is the most common conjunction for hypothetical sentences? More...
Article of the Day

Parallax

Parallax is the apparent change in the position of an object resulting from a change in the position of the observer. The effect is useful in calculating the distances of stars from Earth, as stars appear to shift in relation to each other from different points in Earth's orbit. Parallax can affect the accuracy of photographers and snipers, who may see a target from an angle different than that of their instruments. What does parallax have to do with why pigeons bob their heads? More...
This Day in History

Discovery of Dwarf Planet Eris Is Announced (2005)

Though Eris was first photographed in 2003, scientists working at the Palomar Observatory did not realize that they had captured pictures of a previously unknown planet until re-analyzing the images in 2005. That year, news of the newly discovered planet was announced. Slightly larger than Pluto, the icy dwarf planet has its own moon, Dysnomia, and is one of the most distant objects in the solar system. Before its official naming in 2006, it was popularly known by the name of what TV character? More...
Today's Birthday

Ken Burns (1953)

Burns is an acclaimed American director and producer of lengthy historical documentaries. Known for his extensive use of archival footage and photographs, he is considered one of the most influential documentarians in the US. His films have been among public television's most-watched programs, and include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War, and The National Parks. The Civil War is considered to be his masterpiece. What is the "Ken Burns Effect"? More...
Quotation of the Day
Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Idiom of the Day

hunt where the ducks are

To pursue or look for one's objectives, results, or goals in the place where one is most likely to find them. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Olav's Day (2020)

St. Olav is the patron saint of Norway, and the anniversary of his death is still marked by religious services, fireworks, and public merry-making. Every year the battle in which he died is reenacted during the St. Olav Festival in Trondheim. In the Faroe Islands, this is known as Olavsoka, or "St. Olav's Wake," a national holiday. Parliament opens on the 29th, but the festivities—which include dancing, sports events, speeches, drinking, and a parade of members of Logting (parliament)—begin the night before and continue into the early hours of the 30th. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: news

gazette - A gazzetta, a Venetian coin of little value, gave rise to the phrase gazzetta de la novita, "halfpennyworth of news," which eventually gave us gazette. More...

silly season - Any slow news period characterized by trivial news or no news. More...

tidings - Probably comes from Old Norse tithindi, "news of events." More...

report - To report something is etymologically to "carry it back," from Latin reportare; the metaphorical sense of "bringing back news" also developed in Latin. More...

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