Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, August 21, 2017)
Word of the Day

smug

Definition:(adjective) Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation; self-righteously complacent.
Synonyms:self-satisfied
Usage: On his face was the smug look of a toad breakfasting on fat marsh flies.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Starting Sentences with Subordinating Conjunctions

While it's a commonly quoted belief that a sentence should not begin with the word "because," this is not an actual grammatical rule. Sentences can begin with "because" (and any other subordinating conjunction) as long as the sentence is not what? More...
Article of the Day

The Kea

The kea, a type of parrot endemic to New Zealand, is a crow-sized omnivore that typically feeds on plants, insects, and other birds. Dubbed "the clown of the mountains," it is a curious and playful bird and has been known to fly off with small items left unguarded by their human owners. Their population has declined considerably, largely due to the fact that the New Zealand government once paid a bounty for kea bills. The birds were targeted because they occasionally prey on what large mammal? More...
This Day in History

Demon Core Goes Critical (1945)

The Demon Core was a plutonium core—used in nuclear testing at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico—so nicknamed because it resulted in the deaths of two scientists in separate accidents. In 1945, Harry Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto the core, causing it to go "critical," or achieve a chain reaction of nuclear fission. Daghlian stopped the reaction, but died from radiation poisoning a month later. What happened to the second scientist nine months later? More...
Today's Birthday

Wilt Chamberlain (1936)

One of the greatest offensive players in the history of basketball, "Wilt the Stilt" set many records and led the National Basketball Association in scoring every season from 1959 to 1965. He played in his hometown of Philadelphia with the Warriors and 76ers, and later with California's Los Angeles Lakers. He holds the records for both most points in a single game—100—and most rebounds in a single game—55, which he achieved against his long-time rival Bill Russell. How tall was Chamberlain? More...
Quotation of the Day
The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Idiom of the Day

be hit for six

To be upset or overwhelmed, especially suddenly or unexpectedly. Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Our Lady of Sorrows Festival (Romaria da Nossa Senhora da Agonía ) (2020)

The pilgrimage to the church of Our Lady of Sorrows, or Nossa Senhora da Agonia, in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, is one of the country's most colorful religious festivals. Sometimes called the Pardon of Our Lady of Sorrows, it includes a procession in which the image of the Virgin Mary is carried over flower-strewn streets. Participants also enjoy fireworks on the River Lima, a parade of carnival giants and dwarfs, bullfights, and regional singing and folk dancing. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: platform

lectern, podium, dais, rostrum - A lectern is the stand on which the speaker's notes are placed, the podium is the platform on which the speaker and lectern stand, a dais is a platform for several people, and a rostrum is a platform for one or more. More...

pulpit - From classical Latin pulpitum, "platform, stage." More...

hustings - Its early meaning of "platform" led to its sense of "any place from which campaign speeches are made" and "political campaigning." More...

rostrum - Latin for "beak," it first referred to part of the Rome Forum decorated with bird beaks and used as a platform for speakers. More...

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