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Charismatic Animals

After researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego discovered a seahorse-like creature called the ruby sea dragon, they described this brilliant red fish as a charismatic species. Many scientists use the word charismatic to...

Charismatic Megafauna

Choosing language that helps resolve interpersonal conflict. Sometimes a question is really just a veiled form of criticism and understanding the difference between “ask culture” and “guess culture” can help you know how to...

On the Shoe Phone

First names like “Patience,” “Hope,” and “Charity” are inspired by worthy qualities. But how about “Be-courteous” or “Hate-evil”? The Puritans sometimes gave children such names hoping that...

Canadian Cop Shoe Phones

A caller from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, says that cops in Canada will often say to contact them on their shoe phones. The shoe phone comes from Maxwell Smart, the hapless hero of the 1960s sitcom Get Smart, who kept a phone on the sole of his shoe...

hero bump

hero bump  n.— «And that’s when I hit the moguls, turning my knees hydraulic on Gandy Dancer, a narrow gully of what I call “hero bumps,” perfectly shaped mogul lines on a gradual pitch where I won’t pick up too much speed.» —“What...