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The Evolving Ideologies of American Jewish Summer Camp
story
summer

The Evolving Ideologies of American Jewish Summer Camp

For decades, these retreats have offered so much more than outdoor fun.
August 09, 2018
Why Are There Palm Trees in Los Angeles?
story
trees

Why Are There Palm Trees in Los Angeles?

Turns out it's an image thing.
July 06, 2018
The Government Campaign to Get Rid of Singapore's Unofficial Language
story
linguistics

The Government Campaign to Get Rid of Singapore's Unofficial Language

Singlish, a creole, is spoken all over the country, but politicians want citizens to "speak good English."
June 26, 2018
Where the 'No Ending a Sentence With a Preposition' Rule Comes From
story
linguistics

Where the 'No Ending a Sentence With a Preposition' Rule Comes From

It all goes back to 17th-century England and a fusspot named John Dryden.
June 12, 2018
Where Did the Prohibition on Combining Seafood and Cheese Come From?
Gastro Obscura
story
tradition

Where Did the Prohibition on Combining Seafood and Cheese Come From?

Fish and dairy can make for a delicious mix, despite popular belief.
May 10, 2018
Why Are Bananas, Nuts, and Crackers the Only Foods That Say 'Crazy'?
Gastro Obscura
story
linguistics

Why Are Bananas, Nuts, and Crackers the Only Foods That Say 'Crazy'?

An investigation into how three snacks became associated with madness.
April 13, 2018
The Long Linguistic Journey to 'Dagnabbit'
story
bears

The Long Linguistic Journey to 'Dagnabbit'

This piece of pseudo-profanity is what's known as a taboo deformation—a word we say when we don't want to say the word.
March 14, 2018
Decoding the Design of In-Flight Seat Belts
story
aviation

Decoding the Design of In-Flight Seat Belts

Why we buckle up differently in cars and planes.
January 29, 2018
How Australian Nicknaming Conventions Turn an Afternoon Into an 'Arvo'
story
linguistics

How Australian Nicknaming Conventions Turn an Afternoon Into an 'Arvo'

A thorough explanation for why Dazza ate a sammie at the servo.
January 04, 2018
Meet the Most Toxic Plant in North America
story
plants

Meet the Most Toxic Plant in North America

"Those who eat it will die in two hours."
December 14, 2017
Some Delightful Alternatives to the Post-Sneeze ‘Bless You’
story
features

Some Delightful Alternatives to the Post-Sneeze ‘Bless You’

To sneeze is human, to respond "Go away, kitten" is divine.
December 05, 2017
Why Does the Season Before Winter Have Two Names?
story
autumn

Why Does the Season Before Winter Have Two Names?

A look at the history of fall and autumn.
November 03, 2017
Investigating Pennsylvania's Very Particular Penchant for Potato Chips
Gastro Obscura
story
food

Investigating Pennsylvania's Very Particular Penchant for Potato Chips

Turns out there is an unusually high concentration of snack-food producers in this state.
October 24, 2017
Oxford Bags, the Ridiculously Wide-Legged Trousers of the 1920s
story
pants week

Oxford Bags, the Ridiculously Wide-Legged Trousers of the 1920s

Many decades before JNCOs, British rowers took their pants to extreme dimensions.
September 22, 2017
Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Is From the Bronx—So What's With the Name?
Gastro Obscura
story
food

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Is From the Bronx—So What's With the Name?

Examining the phenomenon of the faux-foreign product.
September 05, 2017
The Unsolvable Mystery of the Word 'Hoosier'
story
linguistics

The Unsolvable Mystery of the Word 'Hoosier'

No one seems to know how we got this nickname for people from Indiana.
August 22, 2017
Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights?
story
sleep

Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights?

There's great comfort in being covered.
August 15, 2017
Why People From Manchester Are Mancunians, Not Manchesterians
story
names

Why People From Manchester Are Mancunians, Not Manchesterians

Demonyms are vital to our conceptions of ourselves, but the rules behind them can be pretty messy.
July 06, 2017
Why Maine Is Mad for This Coffee-Flavored Liqueur
story
maine

Why Maine Is Mad for This Coffee-Flavored Liqueur

Allen's Coffee Brandy is more popular than vodka or whiskey.
June 21, 2017
How the Owner of the Greatest Mystery Bookstore Pulled the Genre Out of the Muck
story
bookstores

How the Owner of the Greatest Mystery Bookstore Pulled the Genre Out of the Muck

"This is literature. It's not just puzzles, it's not just telling a nice story."
May 22, 2017
Germans Are the World's Most Discerning Seltzer Connoisseurs
story
water

Germans Are the World's Most Discerning Seltzer Connoisseurs

Don't mess with mineralwasser.
May 15, 2017
Cracking the Secret Code of Car Names
story
cars

Cracking the Secret Code of Car Names

How a jumble of numbers and letters came to convey fanciness, while cute names came to mean value.
April 07, 2017
'Miami English' and the Linguistic Oddness of South Florida
story
linguistics

'Miami English' and the Linguistic Oddness of South Florida

South Beach speech is like no other.
April 04, 2017
Why 40% of Vietnamese People Have the Same Last Name
story
names

Why 40% of Vietnamese People Have the Same Last Name

Everyone knows a Nguyen, but how did that come to be?
March 28, 2017