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Episode 1525

Niblings and Nieflings

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an...

Episode 1509

Ding-Ding Man

In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying clouds — with Latin names we still use today, like cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. Also: when...

Outer Space Pangram

Many of the top entries in Wordsmith.org’s pangram contest had to do with science, including this one: In Kuiper belt, Pluto is judged as dwarf planet, vexing the status quo by making size count. This is part of a complete episode.

Since Sookie was a Calf

Gerald from San Diego, California, says his mother, who was from North Carolina, used the phrase since Sookie was a calf to mean for a long time. The words sook and sookie are among many traditionally used to call cows from the pasture. The phrase...

Password Joke

If you need a password that contains at least eight characters and one capital, there’s always Mickey Minnie Pluto Huey Louie Dewey Donald Goofy Sacramento. This is part of a complete episode.

pluton

pluton  n.— «If the ideas are approved at the general meeting of the IAU in Prague next week, schoolchildren will, in future, have to learn that the solar system has 12 planets: eight classical ones that dominate the system—Mercury, Venus...

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