WORD OF THE DAY.pngcypress


A few plant names with Greek roots have mythological tie-ins, such as hyacinth and narcissus. Cypress plays that game too — it's from Cyparissus, a mortal boy, teen, or man depending on the version of the story. Cyparissus  had a pet deer, whom he adored more than anything else in the world.  One day, while in the forest, Cyparissus accidentally discharged his bow, mortally wounding his pet. Consumed with grief, remorse, and guilt, he threw his body over the suffering companion as the pet died, transforming into what we now call the Cypress tree.  This is why many cultures around the world still regard a Cypress tree as a symbol of mourning and still use them in cemeteries or burial places.




Read all about it!


January 1 Becomes New Year's Day

The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius. Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.

As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties. In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth)  and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Bet You Didn't Know: New Year's Eve (2:24) TV-G

Did you know that New Year's has not always been celebrated on January 1? Get the full story.




Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.


Early New Year's Celebrations

The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.

Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.


Nov. 27, 2013 — Professor Naitoh of the Faculty of Science and Engineering has discovered a new compressive combustion principle that can yield engines with the ultimate level of efficiency. With a thermal efficiency of 60% or more in applications including automobiles, power generation, and aircraft, will their low fuel consumption be superior to that of HV vehicles?


Read the entire article by following this link:   New energy conversion principle may double efficiency of today's engines


WORD OF THE DAY.pngA diagram is a plan, sketch, drawing, or outline designed to demonstrate or explain how something works or to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole.     ESL-Students


A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam carries the load to the support where it is forced against by moment and shear stress. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truss





WORD OF THE DAY.pngFrom the verb "to bear" or to support...

A bearing is a machine element that constrains relative motion between moving parts to only the desired motion. The design of the bearing may, for example, provide for free linear movement of the moving part or for free rotation around a fixed axis;  or, it may prevent a motion by controlling the vectors of normal forces that bear on the moving parts. Many bearings also facilitate the desired motion as much as possible, such as by minimizing friction. Bearings are classified broadly according to the type of operation, the motions allowed, or to the directions of the loads (forces) applied to the parts.



WORD OF THE DAY.pngHave you ever looked at the base of a bridge or an arch?  Have you ever wondered what that is called?

In engineering,  abutment refers to the substructure at the end of a bridge span whereon the bridge's superstructure rests. Single-span bridges have abutments at each end which provide vertical and lateral support for the bridge, as well as acting as retaining walls to resist lateral movement of the earthen fill of the bridge approach. Multi-span bridges require piers to support ends of spans unsupported by abutments.

The term may also refer to the structure supporting one side of an arch or masonry used to resist the lateral forces of a vault. The word derives from the verb "abut", meaning to "touch by means of a mutual border".




Idiomatic expressions are one of the hardest aspects of learning a second language because what they say is not necessarily what they mean!


Lets see some examples...

"I could care less." ~> means that you don't care BUT if you "care less" then at least you care some!



"Like chalk and cheese"~>  means not alike but you can't substitute a chalk for a cheese right?



"To overlook" ~> means to miss something you should have noticed but if you are over-doing something, isn't that doing it too much?



"Don’t Cross A Bridge Until You Come To It" ~> means not to mess with anything unless something bad strikes


"Prevention Is Better Than Cure"~> means do something to prevent that bad event from happening

" That's a horse of another color" ~> means another matter or  subject altogether not necessarily related to animals


Do you know of  any other expressions?  I know that after so many years, I still struggle with "the alarm going off" in the morning so  Ring along! 

Josiebel Sambolin

Synonym Sense: also

Posted by Josiebel Sambolin Nov 20, 2013







Can you believe that "also" has 26 synonyms?




                         along with,

                              as well as,   

                                   besides. . .  Find them all and improve your writing right now!


Please, visit Dictionary


WORD OF THE DAY.pngrabid


Chances are that if the tail-wagging dog that just appeared on your doorstep is also foaming at the mouth and chewing on your welcome mat, it's rabid and you should back away slowly; no petting for this infectious pup.


While you've likely heard it used to describe an animal infected by rabies, rabid (derived from the Latin verb rabere "be mad, rave") can also dramatically describe a person exhibiting fanatical, extremely enthusiastic, or raging behavior. That guy who nearly knocked you off the stands at the football game with his energetic fist-pumping and then was later kicked out for getting into a fight with another fan? Rabid on both counts.ESL-Students


Virtual thesaurus.gif


Want to see more?  Please, visit Vocabulary Common Roots List

Did you know that To Have and To Receive are two different usages of HAVE?

Here are some examples:

Grammar point.png

I had my computer updated by Peter Pfister  in the Help Desk office.

I had my computer stolen from my backpack.


The first sentence is easy enough: the speaker used someone's expertise to fix their computer. But what about the second sentence? Did the speaker have someone steal their computer? If


not, why say I" had my computer stolen instead of My computer  was stolen?


"Though the two sentences have the same construction — Subject + Verb + Object +Past Participle — they aren't creating the same meaning because have does not have the same meaning." says Erin Brenner in an interesting article about the uses of "have".


  In the first sentence, had tells us the relationship between the subject (I) and the object (my computer updated): I caused my computer to be updated. The speaker didn't update the computer themselves but had someone else do it. (Thank you HELP DESK!)


  In the second sentence,  had is again connecting the subject (I) with the object (my computer stolen), but it's showing a different relationship. Here, the subject experienced the action buried in the object. The object tells us that a computer was stolen. I had shows that the speaker experienced the theft.

So, how do I know which one to use?  That will depend on your emphasis. 

"The modern writing style trends toward shorter, more direct sentences and, as a result, more immediate action. Both of these sentence structures put the action at a distance... Consider what the main point of your sentence is and use sentence structure to make that point clear."