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Episode 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

If Ifs and Ands Were Pots and Pans

Sherry from Green Bay, Wisconsin, remembers that whenever she balked at doing a chore as a kid, her grandmother would say If ifs and ands were pots and pans, a tinker would have no trade. Her grandmother was suggesting that merely paying lip service...

Dead Nuts

An Escanoba, Michigan, construction worker who specializes in plumbing and pipefitting says that when he and his co-workers finish a task just so, they approvingly call it dead nuts. But he wonders if there’s anything obscene about that...

paper daisy

paper daisy  n.— «Rangers have the unenviable task of picking up what they euphemistically call “paper daisies”—pieces of toilet paper left to blow around. Some people don’t even bury it.» —“Fraser Island a big toilet...

ununbium

ununbium  n.— «The ubiquitous periodic table will soon have a new addition—the “super-heavy” element 112. […] IUPAC temporarily named the element ununbium, as “ununbi” is derived from the figures “one...