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Isms: Jingoism

Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country’s advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others […]

ear-wax

Biology: Earwax is Genetically Determined

There are two distinct genetically determined types of earwax (cerumen). The wet type, which is dominant, and the dry type, which is recessive. Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type of earwax (gray and flaky), while white and black people are tend to have the wet type (light to dark […]

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Crows Hold Grudges

Wild crows can recognize individual human faces and hold a grudge for years against people who have treated them badly. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues donned a rubber caveman mask and then captured and banded wild American crows. Whenever a person wearing the same mask approached those crows later, the […]

Faberge Egg - Peter The Great Egg- 1903

Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs

The House of Fabergé made thousands of jeweled eggs  from 1885 through 1917. The majority of these were miniature ones that were popular gifts at Eastertide. The most famous eggs  were the larger Imperial Easter Eggs made for Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia. Fabergé was given complete creative freedom in creating the eggs.  […]

Blasphemy-Day-International

Blasphemy Day International

Blasphemy Day International is a day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to openly express their criticism of, or even disdain for, religion. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry.  It is celebrated on September 30 to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad […]

Navel-Gazing

Weird Words: Omphaloskepsis (Navel Gazing)

Omphaloskepsis (aka navel-gazing) is contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation. From the Greek omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination).  The practice in relation to contemplation of the cosmos and human nature can be found in Indian yoga and in the Eastern Orthodox Church.   Today, the term “navel-gazing” is  most […]

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Absurdism

Isms: Absurdism

Absurdism is a school of philosophical thought based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe. As a philosophy, it also explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should react […]

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Pringles Are Not Potato Chips

Pringles have only about 42% potato content, with the remainder being wheat starch and flours (potato, corn, and rice) mixed with vegetable oils and an emulsifier. In the UK High Court in July 2008, Proctor & Gamble (P & G)  lawyers successfully argued against a value added tax (VAT) and Duties Tribunal decision that Pringles […]