Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, September 12, 2018)
Word of the Day

embitter

Definition:(verb) Cause to be bitter or resentful.
Synonyms:acerbate, envenom
Usage: He would not let this bad experience embitter him and resolved to maintain a positive outlook on life.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Middle Voice

The so-called middle voice is an approximate type of grammatical voice in which the subject both performs and receives the action expressed by the verb. Middle voice and active voice use the same verb structure in a sentence, so how can we distinguish between the two? More...
Article of the Day

The Ishtar Gate

The Ishtar Gate was a massive entryway built in the ancient city of Babylon around 575 BCE by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II. Named for the goddess Ishtar—an ancient fertility deity and the most widely worshiped goddess in Babylon—the gate was more than 38 feet (12 m) high and adorned with images of 575 dragons and bulls in 13 rows. Through the gate ran the stone- and brick-paved Processional Way, lined with 120 brick lions. Where is there a reproduction of the Ishtar Gate? More...
This Day in History

South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Steve Biko Dies in Police Custody (1977)

A former medical student, Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in 1968 to combat racism and apartheid. He was officially "banned" by the South African government in 1973 and was arrested several times in the years that followed. Arrested for the last time in 1977, he was tortured and beaten to death in police custody, prompting international protests and a UN arms embargo. Twenty years later, five former policemen admitted killing him. Why were they never prosecuted? More...
Today's Birthday

Maurice Chevalier (1888)

Chevalier was a French actor, singer, and vaudeville entertainer known for his trademark tuxedo and straw hat. While a prisoner of war during World War I, Chevalier studied English. After the war, he began acting in the US, where he appeared in movies that helped establish the musical as a film genre. Though he put on a heavy French accent while performing in English, he actually spoke the language quite fluently with only a subtle accent. Why did his popularity dwindle during World War II? More...
Quotation of the Day
I forget who it was that recommended men for their soul's good to do each day two things they disliked: it was a wise man, and it is a precept that I have followed scrupulously; for every day I have got up and I have gone to bed.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Idiom of the Day

Box and Cox

Two people who always miss each other and thus are never together. The phrase comes from the 19th-century story of the same name, in which two men named Box and Cox rent the same room at different times of day. More...
Today's Holiday

Festival of St. Nichiren's Pardon (2022)

At the Botamochi Temple in Kamakura, Japan, this festival honors St. Nichiren (1222-1282), considered to be Japan's most fervent Buddhist priest. He was exiled to the island of Sado in the Sea of Japan in 1271. After four years there, he returned and spent the rest of his life on Mount Minobu. The Festival of Nichiren's Pardon is observed by members of the Nichiren sect with massive demonstrations and the loud chanting of prayers attributed to Nichiren, accompanied by the beating of drums. People make offerings of botamochi, rice balls covered with sweet bean paste, in his honor. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: spotted

cheetah - Taken from Sanskrit citraka, "leopard," related to citra, "spotted, speckled, variegated." More...

fleck - Of Scandinavian origin, it came from the adjective flecked, "spotted." More...

piebald, skewbald - Piebald is being spotted with irregular patches of different colors, especially black and white; skewbald is spotted white and a color other than black. More...

pinto - As in horse and beans, it is Spanish for "painted, mottled, spotted." More...

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