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Episode 1608

In the Ballpark

Novelist Charles Dickens and the musician Prince were very different types of artists, but they also had a lot in common. A new book chronicling their extraordinary careers becomes a larger meditation on perfectionism and creativity itself. Plus...

In Minnesota, It’s Duck, Duck, Gray Duck

Pam in Buford, South Carolina, grew up playing Duck Duck Goose, but her Minnesota-born husband knew this children’s game as Duck Duck Gray Duck. The game her husband played is described in an early edition of Education in the Kindergarten...

Prince and Dickens

Author Nick Hornby is an ardent fan of both the novelist Charles Dickens and the musician Prince. In Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius (Bookshop|Amazon), Hornby shows that those two very different men actually had a lot in common...

Episode 1591

Pushing the Envelope

Sure, there’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. But the seasons in between have even more poetic names. In Alaska, greenup describes a sudden, dramatic burst of green after a long, dark winter. And there are many, many terms for a cold snap...

Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Episode 1589

Deep-Fried Air

Eels, orts, and Wordle! Sweden awarded its most prestigious literary award to a book about…eels. The Book of Eels reveals the mysterious life cycle of this sea creature and its significance for famous figures from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud. Plus...