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How We Roll

If you’re serious about writing a memoir, what topics should you include, and what can you leave out? And how honest can you really be about the other people in your life? Some of America’s leading memoirists wrote things they lived to...

GPS Art

GPS art is the creation of a few bikers and runners who track their trips with an app and then post the image of the route they traveled online. The results so far include electronic “drawings” of Darth Vader, Yoda, and characters from...

Busman’s Holiday

Do you ever spend your off-time doing something work related? This is known as a busman’s holiday or a postman’s holiday, as in the British understanding of holiday as a vacation or time off work. Research for a dictionary entry on...

Rock Climbing Beta

Rock climbers use the term beta to refer to any information they receive about a route before climbing it. Is it related to beta as in “beta-testing software”? This is part of a complete episode.

belay slave

belay slave  n.— «The technical term for the climber who goes first is the “leader”; that’s the climber on the “sharp” end of the rope—the end you can hurt yourself on. The term for the climber who holds the rope...

blue jacking

blue jacking  n.— «At the age of 10 he sold newspapers in downtown Toledo.…They didn’t have a normal paper route like most kids, delivering to the same house every day in nice, quiet neighborhoods. This young boy and his friend...