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Once Upon a Time

Are fairy tales too scary for children? A survey of parents in Britain found that more than half wouldn’t read them to their children before age five. Martha and Grant discuss the grisly imagery in fairy tales, and whether they’re too...

Etymology of Butterfly

A caller suspects that the word butterfly derives from a reversal of the expression “flutter by.” But is it? Her question leads to a discussion of butterfly behavior and a handy five-letter word that means “caterpillar poop.”...

Hoopoe Heads (minicast)

Martha talks about the hoopoe, that colorful, clownish, extremely smelly bird—with a likely linguistic connection to defrauded hedge fund investors.

butterfly child

butterfly child  n.— «Children with RDEB, who are often referred to as “butterfly children” because their skin is said to be as sensitive as butterfly wings, develop painful skin and mucosal blistering, mutilating scarring...

paramount lighting

paramount lighting  n.— «I usually place my beauty dish as close to the model as I can. Why? Because the closer the light is to your subject, the softer the light. My dish is placed high above the face, angled down on it at about a 45...

butterfly lighting

butterfly lighting  n.— «I usually place my beauty dish as close to the model as I can. Why? Because the closer the light is to your subject, the softer the light. My dish is placed high above the face, angled down on it at about a 45...

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