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Episode 1583

Made from Scratch

Enthusiastic book recommendations! Martha’s savoring the biography of Alexander von Humboldt, the 19th-century explorer, polymath, and naturalist who revolutionized our understanding of nature and predicted the effects of human activity on...

Left in the Lurch

A restaurant manager in Kokomo, Indiana, had an employee who failed to show up for work. This left him wondering about the phrase left in the lurch. It probably derives from an old game similar to backgammon called lourche, the object of which is to...

A Sign for Driving Apologies

We’re still on the hunt for the safest, most efficient way to apologize to another driver when you accidentally cut them off in traffic or otherwise inconvenience them. A listener shares an intriguing solution. This is part of a complete...

A Gazelle on the Lawn

What do you say if you have guests over and someone in your family has stray food left on the face? In some households, the secret warning is “there’s a gazelle on the lawn.” But why a gazelle? Also, this week: the term for a party...

Boogieman Riddle

Here’s the kind of riddle they were telling more than a century ago: “The lazy schoolboy hates my name, yet eats me every day. But those who seek scholastic fame to hunt me never delay.” This is part of a complete episode.

mowing the lawn

mowing the lawn  n.— «Maritime patrol planes fly a grid pattern over the search area, guided by GPS. They fly in parallel swaths over the ocean, in a process that pilots refer to as “mowing the lawn.” Flying at an altitude of...