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Lovely Names for Snow

The 1955 Glossary of Arctic and Subarctic Terms is a collection of scientific and indigenous terminology that’s dated, but often poetic, which describes the features of an extremely cold landscape. Among those terms are diamond dust, also...

A Katzensprung

In English, we say that something that’s not too distant is a stone’s throw away. In German, that kind of distance can be described as a Katzensprung, or “cat’s jump.” This is part of a complete episode.

To Give a Wide Berth

To give someone a wide berth means to provide ample room. This phrase is nautical in origin, where it means “the distance ships give each other to avoid crashing.” This is part of a complete episode.

Plant Haiku

A haiku from artist Alan Nakagawa’s collection of poems about social distance celebrates the kind of companionship that plants provide. This is part of a complete episode.

Seward’s Other Folly

Long distance communication used to be pretty expensive, but few messages have made a bigger dent than William Seward’s diplomatic telegram to France, which in 1866 cost him more than $300,000 in today’s currency. This pricey message...