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A Good Collective Noun for Black Holes

As we reported in our occasional e-newsletter, the recent discovery of dozens of previously unknown black holes has stargazers wondering: What’s the collective noun for a cluster of black holes? Our readers obliged with some clever...

A Trick with a Hole in It

Theora from Hinesburg, Vermont, has long puzzled over something her mother used to say when they were making something together: Would you like me to show you a little trick with a hole in it? By that, her mother apparently meant that she could show...

Where the Baker Jumped Through

On our Facebook group, listeners discuss jocular explanations for air holes in bread, such as That’s where the baker jumped through, and That’s where the baker crawled through, and for a really big hole, That’s where the baker and...

Keep Your Eye on the Donut

Carol from Falmouth, Massachusetts, is curious about this bit of wisdom from her father: As you travel through life, whatever your goal, keep your eye on the doughnut, and not on the hole. The Mayflower Coffee Shop chain, based in New Jersey and New...

Smeuse

There’s a word hole in a hedge or wall made by the repeated passage of a small animal. It’s called a smeuse. This dialect term from the UK is one of hundreds from Landmarks, a book of essays in which Robert Macfarlane seeks to reanimate...

Wall Hole for Evil Spirits

A San Antonio, Texas, listener lives in a house built by his grandfather, who was from Finland. The house has a small window in an upper corner that supposedly was designed to ensure that evil spirits could escape from the house. He thinks...

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