February 13th, 2012

egglers, alewives, and fruiterers

This webpage lists occupations common in the middle ages… Yielding some amusing and fascinating words.

For example, an eggler is an egg salesman, an alewife is a female public house keeper, and a fruiterer is a seller of fresh fruit.

(via kottke)

February 13th, 2012

subtle sci fi

I like the paranormal if it’s subtle like this. But then again, I also like Ghostbusters.

Sassetta, The blessed Ranieri frees the poor from a Florentine jail, San Sepolcro Altarpiece, 1437-44, Musée du Louvre, Paris

February 13th, 2012

brain overworked?

Yes, it’s true people do yawn more at bedtime or after they’ve woken up and they do yawn when they’re bored (people even yawn in their sleep).

But yawning isn’t that simple. If it was, how could you explain that some paratroopers yawn before their first jump, as do some violinists before they go on stage and Olympic athletes before their event (Provine, 2005). These are hardly situations in which people are likely to be bored.

Many people believe that yawning gets more oxygen into the body or expels more carbon dioxide. But this is not true. The theory is now thought to be seriously flawed, if not plain wrong.

I like this theory that yawning has the function of cooling the brain.

February 7th, 2012

drift

The noun ‘drift’ is so much more interesting when understood as anything that is ‘driven’. The drift of conversation, a drift of rain or snow or dust. I never thought about the core of the word before.

something driven, propelled, or urged along or drawn together in a clump by or as if by a natural agency: as
a : wind-driven snow, rain, cloud, dust, or smoke usually at or near the ground surface
b (1) : a mass of matter (as sand) deposited together by or as if by wind or water (2) : a helter-skelter accumulation
c : drove, flock
d : something (as driftwood) washed ashore
e : rock debris deposited by natural agents; specifically : a deposit of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders transported by a glacier or by running water from a glacier

merriam webster






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