Daily Content Archive

(as of Friday, September 18, 2020)
Word of the Day

happenstance

Definition:(noun) A chance circumstance.
Synonyms:coincidence
Usage: Marriage loomed only as an outgrowth of happenstance; you met a person.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Dummy Pronouns

Dummy pronouns are words that function grammatically as pronouns, but which do not have antecedents like normal pronouns do. This means that, unlike normal pronouns, dummy pronouns do not replace a noun, phrase, or clause. What do they refer to in a sentence? More...
Article of the Day

The Electromagnetic Bomb

In 2003, it was reported that US forces used an electromagnetic bomb to disrupt Iraqi TV transmissions. The so-called E-bomb is a weapon designed to disable electronics with an electromagnetic pulse. Though relatively non-lethal, it can cripple critical technology, making it a valuable tool in modern warfare. It is believed that older devices containing vacuum tubes may be more resistant to damage from these bombs than newer, transistor-based technology. How can sensitive devices be protected? More...
This Day in History

The Fashoda Incident (1898)

Toward the end of the 19th century, France and Britain were brought to the brink of war by territorial disputes in Africa. Tensions came to a head at a strategically located fort at Fashoda, Sudan, occupied by the French mere months before a British force arrived with its own designs on the area. A standoff ensued, but the French, fearing an outbreak of hostilities, eventually withdrew. The diplomatic solution to this political crisis is widely seen as a precursor to what Anglo-French agreement? More...
Today's Birthday

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (1819)

Foucault, a French physicist, invented the Foucault pendulum and used it to provide experimental proof that the Earth rotates on its axis. He improved astronomical instruments, especially the telescope, and with Armand Fizeau took the first clear photograph of the Sun. Foucault is also known for determining the speed of light with extreme accuracy and showing that light travels slower in water than in air. He had originally studied medicine but abandoned it for physics due to a fear of what? More...
Quotation of the Day
Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Idiom of the Day

a man/woman on a mission

A person who is fiercely determined to do or get what he or she wants. More...
Today's Holiday

Fiestas Patrias (2021)

Fiestas Patrias is the great national two-day holiday in Chile celebrating Independence Day, September 18, and Army Day, September 19. In the days preceding the holiday, fondas (fairs) pop up throughout Chile, and it is a popular time for Chilean rodeos. Huasos (cowboys) compete against one another by attempting to pin a calf against the wall of the medialuna, or arena, with their horse, and are awarded points based on which part of the horse is touching the calf. Because September marks the beginning of spring in Chile, Fiestas Patrias is also a popular occasion for kite flying. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: similarity

eye rhyme - A similarity between words in spelling but not pronunciation—like dove and move. More...

icon - Originally a "simile" in rhetoric; its etymological idea is of "similarity," from Greek eikon, "likeness, similarity." More...

goose pimples - Named for their similarity to the skin of a plucked goose. More...

lens - From Latin for "lentil," because of the similarity in shape. More...

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