Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, January 24, 2018)
Word of the Day

commutation

Definition:(noun) (Law) The reduction in severity of a punishment imposed by law.
Synonyms:re-sentencing
Usage: The change from consecutive prison sentences to concurrent sentences is a commutation of punishment.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Adverbials

Single-word adverbs, adverbial phrases, and adverbial clauses are sometimes grouped together under the umbrella term "adverbials," which simply means any word or group of words used as an adverb in a sentence. However, because the term is so broad in meaning, it is very common to refer to any adverbial element with what term? More...
Article of the Day

Star Fruit

Star fruit, so named because it has five prominent ridges that make it star-shaped on cross section, is the yellow- or green-skinned fruit of the carambola tree. Because it contains high levels of oxalic acid, it is typically sour and its juice can be used to remove stains from clothing. Like grapefruit, star fruit possesses compounds that make it dangerous to consume when taking certain medications, including those used to treat what kind of conditions? More...
This Day in History

Soviet Satellite Breaks Up upon Reentry, Scattering Nuclear Debris (1978)

Cosmos 954 was a Soviet reconnaissance satellite that used radar to observe ocean traffic. It was launched in September 1977 and quickly began to experience problems. Within months, it had deviated from its designed orbit. A malfunction prevented the safe separation of its onboard nuclear reactor, so when the satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere, it scattered radioactive debris over northern Canada, necessitating an extensive clean-up operation. How much did Canada bill the USSR for this? More...
Today's Birthday

Farinelli (1705)

Farinelli was an Italian castrato—a singer castrated in boyhood to create an artificial soprano or alto voice. Renowned for his vocal power and agility, he became the greatest opera star of his time but abandoned the public stage for the court of Philip V, where he received an astronomical fee for his only duty: singing the same four songs to the king each night. After retiring, Farinelli received illustrious guests like Mozart at his villa in Bologna. Why were his remains exhumed in 2006? More...
Quotation of the Day
The skeleton of the whale furnishes but little clue to the shape of his fully invested body.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Idiom of the Day

open (one's) big mouth

To say something that is meant to be a secret; to say something in an indiscreet, noisy, or boorish manner. More...
Today's Holiday

Alasitas Fair (2022)

Each year on this day, a large marketplace in La Paz, Bolivia, is full of merchants who traditionally call out "Alasitas," an Aymara word meaning "buy from me," to potential buyers of their miniature wares. Shoppers can find tiny replicas of just about every kind of object—cars, houses, foods, furniture, clothes, tools, household goods, and, especially, money—and seek those which represent items they would like to have in the coming year. Presiding over all this downsized commerce is Ekeko, an Aymara god of material wealth, fertility, and good luck. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: sweetheart

valentine - Formerly a person chosen as a sweetheart or special friend, named for either of two Italian saints. More...

bully - First meant lover or sweetheart, then fine fellow, then blusterer, then "person who harms or threatens weaker people." More...

leman - An old word for "sweetheart, lover." More...

piggesnye - An old term of endearment for one's sweetheart, literally "a darling pig's eye." More...

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