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Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Umarell, the Italian Alter Kocker

You’ve seen this guy before: the older gent who strolls around at construction sites, asking questions, offering suggestions, and kibitizing about the activities there. The Italian dictionary Lo Zingarelli (Amazon) recently added the handy...

Applause with Mucus and Salt

In a lovely essay on the shared experience of theater audiences, Wesley Morris, critic at large for The New York Times, memorably describes weeping in the dark with fellow audience members as offering “applause with mucus and salt.” This...

Episode 1558

Your Two Cents

Astronauts returning from space say they experience what’s called the overview effect, a new understanding of the fragility of our planet and our need to reflect on what humans all share as a species. A book about the end of the universe...

Remove a D Rhyming Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a take-off puzzle this week, offering clues to rhyming two-word phrases made by removing the letter D from the beginning of one of them. For example, if your sound equipment was damaged in a flood, what are you left with...