Daily Content Archive

(as of Saturday, September 12, 2020)
Word of the Day

hilarity

Definition:(noun) Great merriment.
Synonyms:glee, mirthfulness
Usage: When she was gone, I felt as if there was to be no more fun—though it is difficult to say what she had contributed to the hilarity of the party.
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

Heliamphora

Heliamphora is a genus of carnivorous pitcher plants native to South America. The plants lure insects into their deadly pitchers with their vivid pigmentation, sweet scent, and a spoon-like appendage suspended above the tube that secretes nectar. Inside the pitcher, downward-facing hairs force insects deeper inward, until they are drowned in fluid collected at its bottom and then digested by symbiotic bacteria. How do these plants keep from filling completely with water when it rains? 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
To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is . . . the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

Idiom of the Day

make the world go round

To be of critical or integral importance to the ordinary operation of life or the world at large. (Sometimes used hyperbolically.) More...
Today's Holiday

Bad Durkheim Wurstmarkt (2021)

Although called Bad Durkheim Wurstmarkt, or Sausage Fair, this is actually Germany's biggest wine festival—the name is said to have originated about 150 years ago because of the immense amounts of sausage consumed. The opening day of the festival features a concert and a procession of bands, vineyard proprietors, and tapsters of the tavern stalls with decorated wine floats. The following days are a medley of fireworks, band playing, dancing, and singing through the night. Wine is served in glasses called Schoppen that hold about a pint. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: shaking

pulsatilla - Can refer to the shaking of a flower in the wind. More...

quassation - The act or process of being shaken or shaking. More...

concussion - Its underlying etymological notion is of "violent shaking," from Latin concutere, "shake violently." More...

Shaker - The Shakers got their name from the shaking and convulsive movements they made during worship. More...

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