Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, August 9, 2019)
Word of the Day

ennoble

Definition:(verb) Give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility.
Synonyms:gentle
Usage: It would be interesting to see how brave he was; besides, the King would have good reason to ennoble him if he overcame them.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Future Tense (Approximation)

Grammatically speaking, there are no future tenses in the English language. There are really only aspects of the future tense. What does that mean? More...
Article of the Day

Bisha'a

Also known as "ordeal by fire," Bisha'a is a ritual practiced by some Bedouin tribes for the purpose of lie detection. In cases where no evidence of an alleged transgression exists, the accused is asked to lick a hot metal object, such as a spoon or ladle. His tongue is subsequently inspected by the official who presides over the ceremony. If his tongue is burnt, he is deemed to have been lying. What physiological response might make liars more susceptible to burns during this ritual? More...
This Day in History

Nathan Ames Patents His "Revolving Stairs," Now Known as the Escalator (1859)

Although no working model of his design was ever built, Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator. His idea for the "revolving stairs" was largely speculative. It was not until the 1890s that the first working escalator—called the "inclined elevator"—was produced, based on another's designs. It was installed among the amusements at New York's Coney Island but did not remain a novelty for long. How did shoppers react when Harrods in London debuted its first escalator in 1898? More...
Today's Birthday

Pamela Lyndon "P. L." Travers (1899)

Australian-born British actress, journalist, and novelist P. L. Travers is best remembered for her series of fictional children's books about the prim, vain, imperious, acerbic, and mysteriously magical nanny Mary Poppins. The books were a great success, and Disney's award-winning 1964 film adaptation made the author even more famous. Travers worked as an adviser on the film, but in the end she was unhappy with it and never allowed anyone related to the production to adapt her work again. Why? More...
Quotation of the Day
Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Idiom of the Day

lower the bar

To lower the standards of quality that are expected of or required for something. More...
Today's Holiday

Meyboom (2021)

One of the oldest folk traditions in Belgium, Meyboom is an amalgamation of Belgian folklore, patron-saint celebration, and traditional neighborhood rivalry. The event is marked with a procession of giant puppets and the planting of a meyboom (may tree) on the corner of Rue des Sables and Rue du Marais in Brussels. Before the planting, a procession of trumpeters and costumed giants accompanies the tree from the Place des Sablons to its final destination. According to custom, if the meyboom is not planted by 5:00 p.m., the city's good fortune will go to the people of Leuven. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: laws

autonomy - From Greek autos, "self," and nomos, "law," i.e. a person or unit that makes its own laws. More...

blue sky laws - Laws protecting the public from securities fraud. More...

code, codex - Code, from Latin codex, meaning "block of wood split into tablets, document written on wood tablets," was first a set of laws. More...

constitute, constitution - Constitute can mean "make laws" and a constitution is a "how-to" document for a government or organization. More...

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