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Episode 1558

Your Two Cents

Astronauts returning from space say they experience what’s called the overview effect, a new understanding of the fragility of our planet and our need to reflect on what humans all share as a species. A book about the end of the universe...

Episode 1549

Navel-Gazing

In 1971, when a new public library opened in Troy, Michigan, famous authors and artists were invited to write letters to the city’s youngest readers, extolling the many benefits of libraries. One of the loveliest was from E.B. White, author of...

Origin of the “Big Mahoff”

Doug in Madison, Wisconsin, remembers that when he was growing up in Philadelphia, his dad used the phrase the big mahoff to refer to someone important. This term that means “the big boss” or “the big cheese,” is largely...

Bless Your Heart

This week, it’s backhanded phrases, those snarky remarks that come sugar-coated in politeness, like “How nice for you,” “Oh, interesting!,” and the mother of all thinly veiled criticism, “Bless her heart.”...