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Episode 1452

Pop Stand

When it comes to learning new things, what’s on your bucket list? A retired book editor decided to try to learn Latin, and ended up learning a lot about herself. There’s a word for someone who learns something late in life. And when it...


The glow in the eyes of some animals is called eyeshine, and the adjective that describes such shimmering in a cat’s eyes is chatoyant, from French for “cat.” This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1422

Hector’s Pup

Sharing a secret language. Did you ever speak in gibberish with a childhood pal, adding extra syllables to words so the adults couldn’t understand what you were saying? Such wordplay isn’t just for kids—and it’s not just limited to...


Martha went on an overnight backpacking trip and came back with a new word: triboluminescence, which refers to the glow created by rubbing together two pieces of quartz. The tribo- is from a Greek root meaning “to rub,” the source also...

balloon glow

balloon glow  n.— «The race features a “balloon glow” spectacular the evening before. The competing balloons set up before sunset, blowing their torches up into the expanded balloons just as night falls while still sitting on...