Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, March 9, 2015)
Word of the Day

mercantile

Definition:(adjective) Of or relating to merchants or trade.
Synonyms:commercial
Usage: With so many vendors, the mercantile aspect of the historical site has nearly overtaken its original purpose.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Hyphens

A hyphen ( - ) is used primarily to join two or more words to form a new, compound word or to provide clarity when using certain affixes (such as prefixes). What is a hanging hyphen? More...
Article of the Day

The Gates of Tashkent

The Gates of Tashkent were built around the town of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the 10th century. The last of the gates was destroyed in 1890, but several of the city's districts still bear their names. The gates, which varied in number over time, served as fortifications for the original settlement located at the intersection of the Bozsuv canal and caravan routes from the Tien Shan Mountains. Who was in charge of protecting the wooden gates? More...
This Day in History

WWII: Bombing of Tokyo Kills 100,000 (1945)

During WWII, Allied bombing devastated half of Tokyo, destroyed or damaged many famous landmarks, and ruined nearly all of the city's industrial plants. In the US firebombing raid that began on March 9, 1945, nearly 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the Japanese capital, killing roughly 100,000 people and destroying about 16 mi² (41 km²) of the city—making it the most destructive conventional bombing raid in history. How did the destruction compare to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? More...
Today's Birthday

Bobby Fischer (1943)

Fischer was a chess legend who, at the age of 15, became the youngest grandmaster in history at that time. In 1970 and 1971, he won an unprecedented 20 straight games to qualify to challenge Boris Spassky for the world championship. He then beat Spassky, becoming the only American world titlist and winning the lion's share of the $250,000 prize fund that was then the largest purse offered in any sport outside boxing. Afterward, Fischer did not publicly play another game of chess until what year? More...
Quotation of the Day
To me, fair friend, you never can be old
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Idiom of the Day

ball the jack

Speed up. Go fast. This phrase came from the American rail industry, in which a train was nicknamed a "jack," while "highball" meant to proceed. More...
Today's Holiday

Forty Martyrs' Day (2015)

The "Forty Martyrs of Sebaste" were Roman soldiers quartered in Armenia in 320 CE; they are greatly revered in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In Greece, special foods are prepared, such as cake with 40 layers of pastry and stew with 40 herbs. In Romania, little cakes called sfintisori ("little mints") are baked and given to and received from every passerby. Coliva is also traditional. Farm tools are readied for work, and hearth ashes are spread around the cottage to keep the serpent from entering. (Each home is said to have a serpent protecting it). More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: technique

traffic-calming device - Any device (e.g. a speed bump) or technique on or next to a road that is used to slow or restrict traffic, especially in residential areas. More...

appliance - First was the use or application of a technique, putting a technique into practice. More...

expression marks - The collective term for musical directives, including tempo, volume, technique, phrasing, and mood. More...

martial art - So named for Japanese bu-jutsu (bu + jutsu), "art, technique, skill, craft." More...

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