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Looking Brave

Peg in Papillion, Nebraska, has been reading Winston Graham’s Poldark series, which is set in Cornwall around the turn of the 19th century. The characters sometimes greet each other with, “You’re looking brave.” Although...

Put on the Dog

Why isn’t “you’re welcome” the default response to “thank you” for everyone? Plus lies that kids tell, Philadelphia lawyer, cowbelly, skutch, mind-bottling vs. mind-boggling, tsundoku, infanticipating, noisy piece...

Tsundoku

The Japanese have a term for the act of buying books but letting them pile up without reading them. It’s tsundoku. This is part of a complete episode.

Flying Pickle

How would you like to be welcomed to married life by friends and neighbors descending on your home for a noisy celebration, tearing off the labels of all your canned foods and scattering cornflakes in your bed? That tradition has almost died out...

Happy as Larry

New research shows that you may be less influenced by superstitious behavior like walking under ladders or the magic of four-leaf clovers if you’re reading about it in another language. • Sometimes not cursing will catch someone’s ear...