Encountered a new-to-me snack food yesterday: Peatos. I was initially startled, because I felt like the world is not yet ready for a peat-based snack food. Turns out that the idea is that it’s a Cheetos-like snack made with peas instead of corn.

Carrying cocaine

NBC News headline: Dramatic video shows Coast Guard leaping onto submarine carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine I honestly wondered for a moment why and how the Coast Guard was carrying so much cocaine while leaping onto a submarine.

Does both mean two?

Nonscientific survey here. Question 1: In your own personal usage, can you use the word both with more than two items? For example, do the following sound okay to you? Wash both the plate, the bowl, and the cup. Wash both of the three dishes. Question 2: What about the word either? For example: Wash […]

French tips

In the 2018 version of A Star Is Born, someone at a drag bar refers to French tips, and I had no idea what they meant. Turns out it’s a style of manicure involving two colors of nail polish, one for the nail bed and the other for the tip of the nail.


My father told me a joke a couple of times when I was a kid that I could never entirely reconstruct later. I just found a version of it in a 1908 O. Henry story, “The Man Higher Up.” Partway through the story, a man named Alfred E. Ricks has been selling land in Florida […]


According to Wikipedia’s article on King Arthur: “The familiar literary persona of Arthur began with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudo-historical Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), written in the 1130s. The textual sources for [the legend of] Arthur are usually divided into those written before Geoffrey's Historia (known as pre-Galfridian texts, from the […]

loxodrome, rhumb line

According to Wikipedia: In navigation, a rhumb line, rhumb, or loxodrome is an arc crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle, that is, a path with constant bearing as measured relative to true or magnetic north. For pretty and interesting pictures showing examples, follow the link. I think I’ve seen rhumb lines on […]