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Ring-Tailed Tooter (episode #1563)

National Book Award winner Barry Lopez had wise advice for young writers. First, read widely and follow your curiosity. Second, travel or learn a foreign language. And third, find out what you truly believe, because if you’re not writing from...

Golf Parents

After our conversation about helicopter parents, who hover closely over their children, and the Danish term curling foraeldre, or “curling parents,” who sweep away problems ahead of their children, much like people sweeping the ice in...

No Bones in Ice Cream

Amelia in Traverse City, Michigan, says her grandfather used to pull her close and whisper There are no bones in ice cream. He has a point there, but where did the phrase come from? That phrase seems to have arisen as part of a goofy joke making the...

Singing Sand (episode #1546)

Cat hair may be something you brush off, but cat hair is also a slang term that means “money.” In the same way, cat beer isn’t alcoholic — some people use cat beer as a joking term for “milk.” And imagine walking on a...

Baby’s Breath (episode #1545)

Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who goes by the very same moniker? There’s a word for that: googleganger. Plus, the language of hobbyists and enthusiasts: If you’re a beekeeper, perhaps you call yourself a...