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Steve in the Sky With Emissions

There’s an atmospheric phenomenon that resembles the Northern Lights, and it’s called STEVE. That’s because citizen scientists used that name among themselves when discussing these glowing ribbons of color in the sky. They settled...

Episode 1444

Pink Slip

Politicians have to repeat themselves so often that they naturally develop a repertoire of stock phrases to fall back on. But is there any special meaning to subtler locutions, such as beginning a sentence with the words “Now, look…”...

Skedaddle

The months of September, October, November, and December take their names from Latin words meaning “seven,” “eight,” “nine,” and “ten.” So why don’t their names correspond to where they fall in...

Sky Hag

The slang term sky hag was originally a negative appellation for an older flight attendant. But it’s now being reclaimed by longtime airline employees as a positive self-descriptor. This is part of a complete episode.

Bricks in the Sky

A listener in Ellsworth, Michigan, shares a favorite simile from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1440

Mustard On It

When does a word’s past make it too sensitive to use in the present? In contra dancing, there’s a particular move that dancers traditionally call a gypsy. But there’s a growing recognition that many people find the term gypsy...