We take the predictability of the calendar for granted. But we may have felt differently if we were living under the rule of Julius Caesar.
You’ve probably heard about the football player Troy Polamalu whose long locks are, as of today, insured for $1,000,000 dollars. The silly stunt is just the chance we need to talk big — bigger than a million. How big? Let’s see how big.
Thinly dressed with yellow mustard and slapped between two slices of white bread, bologna is found in the lunchboxes of many American youth. But what does the cold cut have to do with baloney, a slang word that implies nonsense?
The bologna sausage is traditionally made from the “odds and ends” of chicken, turkey, beef, or pork. It is similar to the Italian mortadella, which originated in the Italian city of CONTINUE READING »
Briefly, here’s how the monikers for storms are picked. The world is roughly divided into six major basins where storm activity occurs. Each basin has an organization that comes up with lists of names a few years in advance. The basins don’t all follow the same rules CONTINUE READING »
Ailurophiles (cat fanciers) will tell you that it makes perfect sense female cats are called queens. “Tomcat,” however, is a little trickier. While we’re on the feline topic, what is the name for a group of cats, and where does the myth of cats’ nine lives originate?
It turns out that the term for a male cat is associated with a fictional character from long before CONTINUE READING »
The trophies from the big award shows all have cute little names (Oscar), and the Emmys ceremony is getting all the attention. Emmy must be very excited, right? Some Emily who was so important to the TV industry that an honor was named after her? Nope. Emmy isn’t human, is a feminization, and is totally obsolete. CONTINUE READING »
In school, the place where you are most expected to know the how and why of everything, it’s funny that second-year students are called by a term whose roots are abstruse. Then there is the problem of CONTINUE READING »
After World War II, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing, turned its attention from designing military craft to building commercial planes, along with missiles and spaceships. (Unrelated fact: when Boeing was forced to spin off its passenger flight division, the newly-formed company became United Airlines.
Back to the late 1940s: Model numbers were assigned to each division of aircraft (from the Boeing website:) “300s and 400s represented [military] aircraft, 500s would be used on turbine engines, 600s for CONTINUE READING »
There’s an email going around that claims on Friday night, the sky will look as though there are two big moons. Allegedly, Mars will be so large that it will rival Luna (the official name of our lovely moon.) Here’s the problem: this email has been circulating since 2003. In reality, on Friday the red planet will appear approximately 400 times smaller than the moon.