In a world that knows too many details about unimportant matters, one would think that our collective expertise could be certain about something as essential as the days of the week. There is, however, a scholarly debate regarding which goddess of love in Norse mythology is the namesake of “Friday.” To complicate matters, it may be that Frigg (or Frigga) and Freyja were at one point one goddess, or at least CONTINUE READING »
This week, excitement was stoked by the discovery of a “Goldilocks planet” within our astronomical neighborhood. Located about 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra, the exoplanet in question has temperatures ranging from –25 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit , orbits its star from a distance of .146 Astronomical Units (about 14 million miles), and has a mass 3 to 4 times that of the earth. In other words, this planet CONTINUE READING »
A recent survey on religion caused a stir when it revealed that many Americans lack some basic knowledge about their own religious faiths. Another provocative finding indicated both atheists and agnostics are surprisingly knowledgable about a variety of religions.
There’s a fresh UFO hullabaloo, and that provides the perfect opportunity to encounter the origin of “flying saucer” and “UFO.” There are no alien autopsies, abductions or crop circles in these stories, but there is no shortage of weirdness.
First, here’s the latest extraterrestrial extravaganza. A group of retired Air Force members and UFO researchers held a press conference claiming that aliens not only monitor, but have interfered with nuclear CONTINUE READING »
Cute teenagers, song and dance routines, even Britney Spears — this is “Glee’s” moment in the sun. We want to take this same moment to illuminate some of the unusual senses of “glee” (like what it has to do with schadenfreude.)
The 2010 MacArthur “genius” fellowships were announced today, meaning 23 individuals just received $500,000 in recognition of their “making our world a better place.” The recipients, artists, scientists, and others, can do whatever they want with the cash. Every year when these fabulous funds are given out, people tend to ask: “What makes them so special,” and “Don’t I deserve a genius grant?”
Perhaps a psychologist is better qualified to answer those questions, but we’re happy to see if our dictionary gnomes can provide some insight regarding the concept of “genius.” One of the most popular online definitions of genius would seem to be I.Q. CONTINUE READING »
According to the British tabloid the Daily Mirror, a quick-thinking Montana woman fended off a bear attack with a 14-inch courgette. Is this some sort of ax, shovel, or broom? No. Here’s a hint: a courgette is perfect sautéed in garlic and butter.
You may have heard that Blockbuster filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The term chapter 11 is often used synonymously with bankruptcy. Chapter 11 and bankruptcy, however, aren’t exactly the same.
You may have heard that Katy Perry was booted off “Sesame Street” for a bustier deemed too bawdy for children. But this imbroglio isn’t what piques our interest. What we’re curious about is the famous name of the show. Does it have anything to do with the “sesame” that gives us the tiny seeds?