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International Pie Charts

Pie charts were invented by the Scottish engineer William Playfair, but the name for these visual representations of data came later. In other countries, this type of graph goes by names for other round foods. In France, a pie chart is sometimes...

Word Births and Bird Words

Hi, ho! In this week’s episode, we discuss odd words, how children learn to talk, “in my wheelhouse,” “high as Cooter Brown,” and “good leather.” Greg Pliska metagrobolizes us with a quiz based on the 2011...

Prefix “Hella”

Whether it’s bytes of data or intergalactic distances, humans are accumulating ever more massive amounts of data. But how do we use language to describe such mind-bogglingly huge numbers? There’s mega, as in mega-millions, and giga, as...

body babbling

body babbling  n.— «To begin the learning process, the UC San Diego researchers directed the Einstein robot head (Hanson Robotics’ Einstein Head) to twist and turn its face in all directions, a process called “body babbling.” During...

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