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Pareidolia

Good news if you’ve wondered about a word for recognizable images composed of random visual stimuli—that image of Elvis in your grilled-cheese sandwich, for example. It’s pareidolia. This is part of a complete episode.

bull ring

bull ring  n.— «Most drivers also despise Martinsville the first time they race there. Short tracks are often referred to as “bull rings.” Martinsville is one of the few that really fits the image.» —“Martinsville takes...

Spitting Image

Which is correct for describing a close family resemblance: spittin’ image or spit and image? Grant and Martha discuss the possible origins of these expressions, including a recent hypothesis that’s sure to surprise. This is part of a...

digital cliff

digital cliff  n.— «Whitsett goes on to explain the unique challenges that affect many rural residents. “According to the FCC, the strength of a digital signal depends on terrain, distance from the transmitters and the reception...

skeet-shooting

skeet-shooting  n.— «A special technique, known as “skeet-shooting,” was developed by controllers to cancel out the high speed of the moon relative to Cassini and also help obtain ultra-sharp views as the spacecraft sped past...

Greyjing

Greyjing  n.— «When it was announced in 2001 that the 2008 Games were to be hosted by Beijing, or as many are referred to it “Greyjing,” drastic action was undertaken to improved its smoky image—it’s just not sport when...