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That’s Lore, Folks!  Shape-shifters

That’s Lore, Folks! Shape-shifters

For everything that makes people different across the world, there is something that makes us the same, a cultural universal.  Cultural universals include things like gender roles, jokes, death rituals, and mythology.  It’s in that last cultural universal where we...

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Scientific Serendipity

Scientific Serendipity

In 1968, a 3M chemist named Dr. Spencer Silver was attempting to create a super-strong adhesive when instead he accidentally invented a super-weak adhesive, which could be used to only temporarily stick things together. The seemingly limited application of Silver’s...

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You Probably Think This Song is About You

You Probably Think This Song is About You

“Closing time, one last call for alcohol/So, finish your whiskey or beer/Closing time, you don't have to go home/But you can't stay here.”  You couldn’t go a week in 1998 without hearing Semisonic’s second big single.  It was nominated for Billboard Music Award for...

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Papa Had a Rolling Stone

Papa Had a Rolling Stone

Content warning: We’re getting medical today and that includes the naughty bits and fetal development, so if you haven’t had The Talk with the kids, your car ride’s about to get awkward. Health is foremost on people’s minds these days, thanks to the virus and...

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Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special

It’s rare for me to return to a topic, but if it gives me an excuse to run a George Carlin clip, I’m all for it. [sfx]  Plus, I’ve got new information to share.  Of course, that was recorded before blue corn chips were available at every mega mart and gas station. ...

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It’s My Party

It’s My Party

Henry Hudson, like many explorers, tried and failed to discover the Northeast Passage.  The principal problem being that it didn’t exist.  At least he manage to map most of the Eastern seaboard.  During his 1609 expedition, he found himself in the territory of the...

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The Years (Plural) Without A Christmas

The Years (Plural) Without A Christmas

Americans spend some $3 trillion a year on Christmas shopping and celebration. Almost 20 percent of all industry sales in the entire country come from holiday shopping. Some 12 percent of Americans start Christmas shopping in September, and many stores this year will...

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Only 80’s Kids Will Fear This

Only 80’s Kids Will Fear This

You’re walking along a wooded path.  Maybe you’re on a hike, maybe you’re headed to a picnic.  The sun is shining and the warm breeze ruffles your hair.  Suddenly, you’re halted in your step.  Your back foot is sinking into the ground.  You try to plant your other...

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Big Brass Banned

Big Brass Banned

Alarming things can happen on live tv. A broadcast of a concert on Iranian TV a few years ago absolutely scandalized some viewers. People began taking pictures of their TVs and posting them on social media. "Am I dreaming or what?" tweeted one man, unable to believe...

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Thanks-myth-ing

Thanks-myth-ing

Roast without equal:  For this recipe, you will need one each sky-lark, thrush, quail, ortolan, lapwing, golden plover, partridge, woodcock, teal, guinea-hen, guinea *fowl*, wild duck, fowl, red pheasant, wild goose, bustard, and fig pecker.  Pluck and gut the birds,...

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The Hills Are Alive

The Hills Are Alive

It was an ambitious project that, though it failed, would become part of the iconography of the decade.  In September of 1991, the first long-term residents moved into Biosphere 2, a 3 acre vivarium, built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system. ...

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High Spirits

High Spirits

There’s a drink they make in Chicago that boasts about how few people actually enjoy its bitter wormwood flavor.  If bars even have a bottle of it, they’ve probably never opened it.  When the manufacturer ran a contest to come up with a new slogan, albeit an...

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