Current Events

  1. Pirate Code: How to Talk Like a Scallywag

    “Ahoy, matey!” Is that pretty much the limit of your pirate lingo? With perhaps a “shiver me timbers” in the wings if you need it? With so many excellent pirate terms, don't stop there! Here’s a robust vocabulary to make your weekend pirating just a little more authentic.

  2. Set Sail Mateys! Swashbuckling Words Ahead

  3. The Meaning of Labor Day

    For many of us, Labor Day means the end of summer vacation, a guilt-trip for anyone wearing white, and an excuse for department stores to have sales. But, it’s important to keep in mind the true history behind this holiday: Labor Day is a celebration of laborers, introduced at a time when labor meant something far more grueling than it generally does today. In the …

  4. CelebrATE Your Summer!

  5. Place de la Bastille

    What’s a Bastille?

    On Bastille Day, the world parties in the name of France. But do you know what makes Bastille Day so important—not just for France but the history of all democracies? The occasion is typically honored with military parades and copious consumption of libations. This mix of weapons and wooziness arguably sums up the legacy of July 14, 1789. Bastille is French for “fortress,” “castle,” or “bastion.” The Bastille …

  6. What’s Net Neutrality?

    You may have heard the term net neutrality in the news lately. Net neutrality is the idea that the relationship between you and content on the internet shouldn’t be altered by internet service providers—that ISPs should provide nondiscriminatory access to internet content, without manipulating the transfer of data. Check out these other net-neutrality resources: 7 Quotes That Perfectly Explain Why Net Neutrality is Important Dictionary’s definition of net …

  7. The Forgotten Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? In 1814, the poet and lyricist Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled …

  8. O Say Can You Hear? A Look at Our National Anthem’s Poetic Roots

    This weekend, many Americans will gather with loved ones to commemorate our country’s heritage by firing up the grill, admiring some fireworks, and attempting to sing one of the most difficult songs in the English language. “Star-Spangled Banner” was adopted as our national anthem in 1931, and its soaring melody and densely packed lyrics have been tripping up those tasked with performing it ever since. …

  9. The Wonder-ful Nature of Greek God Names

    Batman lurks like a bat in the shadows. Spider-Man slings webs like a radioactive spider. Superman is a literal translation of Friedrich Nietszche’s term ubermensch. And Wonder Woman is…well, what does Wonder Woman’s name tell us about her? A lot, it turns out. When William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman in the early 1940s, he made her not just Diana, an Amazon princess, but also …

  10. Political Euphemisms: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

    A euphemism is a gentle word or expression for a harsh or offensive term.