Mortons-Toe- Statue-of-Liberty

Morton’s Toe

Morton's toe or Morton's syndrome is the term for the condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe.   The name originated from American orthopedic surgeon Dudley Joy Morton (1884–1960). Although often described as a disorder, it is common enough to be considered a normal variant of foot shape (its prevalence varies […]

Cecily-G-and-the-9-Monkeys-first-Curious-George-book

Curious Geoge was Originally Named FiFi.

Curious George made his first appearance in the 1939 children’s book Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys by H.A. (Hans) Rey and wife Margret Waldstein.  In that story, one of the monkeys — “Jimmy, the brave monkey” — is standing next to his brother, Fifi. It is Fifi who would later become known as Curious George. […]

Kid-Gloves

Idioms: Kid Gloves

To treat  (or handle) with “kid gloves” is a popular American phrase meaning to treat a someone or something with extreme tact or gentleness. Sometimes mis-quoted as “kit gloves”, the term “kid gloves” originally referred to gloves that were made from the skin of a young goat or lamb. These gloves were softer and finer […]

surface-tension-water-penny

Physics: Drops of Water on a Penny

Due to the forces of surface tension, (Surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force.) it is possible to place up to 36 or more drops of water onto a US penny, without the water spilling off the sides of the penny. The volume […]

Albert Einstein

Urban Myths: Einstein Flunked Math

Contrary to popular belief, Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics in school. The myth may have become popular when “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!” published the idea in its newspaper column in 1935. Today, this “false fact” turns up in many books and thousands of online references.   When shown told of the rumour, Einstein […]

HinduSwastika

Symbols: Swastika

The swastika has an extensive history. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being.” The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun […]

FROM THE ARCHIVES

blue-star-acid

Urban Legends: Blue Star Acid

Urban Legend: a story that appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in various forms and is usually false.   The “Blue Star Acid” story warned of a form of LSD soaked tattoo that was being sold to school children.  The designs on the sheets were said to be the size of a pencil eraser and included […]

aglet

Aglet: At the End of a Shoelace

An aglet (or aiglet) is a small plastic or metal covering used on the end of a shoelace, cord, or drawstring. An aglet keeps the fibers of the lace or cord from unraveling.  Its firmness and narrow profile make it easier to hold and easier to feed through the eyelets, lugs, or other lacing guides. […]

drink-the-kool-aid

Phrases: Drinking The Kool Aid

“Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a phrase commonly used in North America and refers to a person or group’s blind, uncritical belief in an ideology, argument, or philosophy. The metaphor is a reference to the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, where members of the Peoples Temple were said to have committed suicide by drinking a cyanide-laced, “Kool-Aid“- […]