Saturday, January 30, 2010
Search: can conditioner expire
Why: I found a half-full bottle of the kind I like (Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution, perf for baby-fine tresses like mine) in my parents' attic, so who knows how long it has been there. When I tried it, it not only felt like my hands were coated in duct tape, but it had the opposite effect than that which was intended - i.e. making more tangles.
Answer: No! which is why bottles don't have expiration dates. After a while, the product might become discolored, but it will still be perfectly safe so long as the bottle is sealed. Otherwise, the ingredients can react to water and air, causing the product to break down and bacteria to grow.
After a very long time, alcohol and other ingredients might evaporate. Maybe you can shake it up and try again.
Source: Amazon Askville, Answerbag
The More You Know: If you have real expensive shampoo or conditioner, you should keep them out of the shower.
Search: germanotta bitter end
Why: In the New Yorker, "Transformer":
On the night of January 20, 2006, an unknown singer-songwriter, nineteen-year-old Stefani Germanotta, opened her rock show at the Bitter End, in the Village, with her song “Hollywood" ... In the YouTube video of that performance, you see a pretty, kittenish, frumpily dressed brunette, an alumna of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a first-rate Manhattan private school, who was at that time enrolled in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She sings with style and conviction but betrays few hints of the pop superstar she was soon to become.Answer: Here it is. Hum:
The More You Know: I got nothin. But I did notice this list of J.D. Salinger's New Yorker pieces over on the side there. That's where most of his stuff was originally published, fyi. If you haven't read "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," you should seriously consider it. You should give it plenty of thought. That story was first printed in the magazine January 31, 1948, which was 62 years ago tomorrow.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Search: are eggs hard when they are laid
Why: There was a fat bird on Daniel and Meggan's porch that, she said, "does nothing but shit on the porch swing." (I would never say such a thing.)
Answer: A little bit of both!
Eggs are soft while in the animal and get hard shell on contact with air and a cooler temperature. Their shape results from the egg being forced through the oviduct. Muscles contract the oviduct behind the egg, pushing it forward. The egg's wall is still shapeable, and the pointy end develops at the back side.Here's a video of a chicken laying an egg that - warning - may make you want to never eat an egg again. NSFW!
Source: Answer Bag
The More You Know: Eggshells are made of a protein matrix lined with mineral crystals, usually of a calcium compound like calcium carbonate. The substance is calcium build-up; it is not made of cells.
Egg-laying mammals, like platypuses and echidnas, are called monotremes. Baby echidna:
Search: pop goes the weasel
Why: Ben has a jack-in-the-box that has Curious George on the outside and plays that song.
Answer: Nobody is sure! The most confident interpretation I see is that it's from Cockney rhyming slang. Pop is the slang word for "pawn" (like to pawn something, like at a pawn shop), and weasel comes from "weasel and stoat," meaning coat.
It was traditional for even poor people to own a suit, which they wore as their 'Sunday Best.' When times were hard, they would pawn their suits or coats on a Monday and claim them back before Sunday. Hence the term "pop goes the weasel."Other theories:
- It is a tailor's flat iron
- A hatter's tool
- A clock reel used for measuring in spinning
- A piece of silver plate
- It is a mishearing of weevil or vaisselle
- It was a nickname of James I
- "Rice" and "treacle" (in certain versions) are slang terms for potassium nitrate and charcoal, and that the rhyme therefore refers to the gunpowder plot
The More You Know: Did you ever see Music and Lyrics? If not, and if it's because you are a snob who judged a book by its cover, I am here to tell you that it is mildly entertaining. Just watch this funny video, "Pop! Goes My Heart." My favorite part is the little move they do at 1:25.
Search: who are the gideons
Why: The waiting room at my dentist's office had a hotel-style Bible "placed by the Gideons."
Answer: Members of the Gideon Society, a worldwide Protestant evangelical organization! They have been around since 1899. They are named for Gideon, who served God even when his orders seemed contradictory or strange.
Gideon was a man who was willing to do exactly what God wanted him to do, regardless of his own judgment as to the plans or results. Humility, faith, and obedience were his great elements of character. This is the standard that The Gideons International is trying to establish in all its members, each man to be ready to do God's will at any time, at any place, and in any way that the Holy Spirit leads.Similarly, they take every opportunity to bear witness as Christians, whether sneaking Bibles into your dentist's office or cornering you on an airplane.
The More You Know: Songs that mention the Gideon Bible:
- The Beatles – "Rocky Raccoon"
- Beulah – "Maroon Bible"
- Clutch – "Profits of Doom"
- Fall Out Boy – "XO"
- Frank Zappa – "Room Service"
- George Strait - "Maria"
- Jay Brannan - "Home" ("Why don't the Gideons leave condoms in the drawer? Bibles don't save many people anymore.")
- Jethro Tull – "Locomotive Breath"
- Jimmy Buffett – "This Hotel Room"
- John Cale – "Gideon's Bible"
- My Morning Jacket – "Gideon"
- Pedro The Lion – "Rapture"
- State Radio – "Rash of Robberies"
- Steve Goodman - This Hotel Room
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Search: gadfly; cleg
Why: In the In Touch Weekly crossword, #59 across: "Gadfly"
Answer: It's just a fly! Like a horsefly. It has to "bite or annoy livestock." A "cleg" (from Old Norse kleggi) is the same thing. Those are words you can use now. You're welcome!
The word comes from goad. Goadfly. Goad.
Other types of gadfly include the botfly and the warble fly. Don't look them up.
Source: Merriam Webster, The Free Dictionary
The More You Know: When not talking about clegs, botflies, or warble flies, "gadfly" refers to people who upset the status quo by challenging common assumptions or otherwise being annoying. In Plato's Apology, Socrates said he bit Athens out of complacency:
I am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.
Search: picasso the actor
Why: Some lady tripped in a museum and tore a hole in it.
The artwork is nearly 6 feet by 4 feet, and depicts a standing acrobat in a pink costume and blue knee-high boots striking a pose against an abstracted backdrop.Answer: It looks like this:
(but with a hole in it)
Source: Google Images
The More You Know: It was worth $130 million before, but the 6 inch tear cut its value in half. Now it is worth only $65 million.
Why: We just had a long talk about whether our writers would know what the word "truncated" means. (Consensus: Probably not.) Trunk can mean both torso and elephant nose-arm.
Answer: They have different roots!
1. The one meaning "trunk of a tree, trunk of the human body" comes from Latin truncus, "mutilated or cut off" (gross)
2. The one meaning "elephant's snout" probably came from trump, short for "trumpet!"
The More You Know: And hold the phone, there are 2 more meanings!
3. The one meaning "box or case" comes from Old French tronc, "alms box in a church"
4. The one meaning "luggage compartment of a motor vehicle" doesn't really have old roots because motor vehicles are relatively new!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Why: In the 27bslash6.com letter "Have you seen the movie Waterworld?" Kat sent:
Today when I got up it was bitterly cold so I sat on the couch watching Blakes-7 dvds wrapped in my doona and therefore technically still in bed. If I bought two doonas, layed down on them with my arms and legs splayed out, drew the outline of my body then cut out and stitched the doonas together to form a suit, I could wear this to the shops and even to work on cold days. People would probably look at me and say "I wish I had one of those doona suits" and I would say "Yes, it is very warm and comfortable and just like being in bed therefore I am exempt from any deadlines that may be placed on me."Answer: A duvet! Or comforter! Originally a product name, now a a genericized trademark!
The More You Know: Doona, doona, dontcha wanna?
If you want to read more of these (and I think you should), I recommend:
Search: WAG image
Why: In this collection of "Celebs Aging Naturally or With a Little... Help?" (like Heidi Montag Pratt Stepford):
Known for her "posh lifestyle," Victoria Beckham seems to have downsized something recently -- reportedly a breast augmentation. According to the British Sun, she had her breast implants removed about a month ago, going down from a busty 34DD to a more natural 34B cup bra size. "She felt that was part of her old WAG image -- the big hair, big boobs and fake tan -- and that she has moved on since those days."Answer: It stands for Wives And Girlfriends - particularly of athletes, particularly English footballers.
The More You Know: Posh and Becks started dating in 1997 and married July 4, 1999. You listened to "Wannabe" every day of Summer 1996.
Search: jocelyn wildenstein
Why: In this collection of "Celebs Aging Naturally or With a Little... Help?" (like Heidi Montag Pratt Stepford):
Is Jocelyn Wildensten's bloated face the result of even more cosmetic surgery procedures? Wildenstein's face, left, appeared quite different in 1998. But when she attended the after party for "Coco Before Chanel" Sept. 9, 2009 in Beverly Hills, Calif., Wildenstein's face looked painfully swollen. The 63-year-old socialite has been nicknamed "Bride of Wildenstein" because of her numerous cosmetic surgery procedures over the years.Answer: A socialite! She was born Jocelyn Périsset in 1940 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she became a skilled hunter. She was invited to a shooting weekend at a private Kenyan game reserve owned by bazillionaire Alec Wildenstein, son of the owner of a huge art conglomerate. She and Alec married in 1978.
Then she got obsessed with getting old and had a bunch of plastic surgery. Then she found her husband cheating on her, so she got even more. They divorced, and she still uses her money (est. over $4 million) to have even more.
The More You Know: "High-art drag personality" [drag queen] Marsian De Lellis is currently performing his musical "Bride of Wildenstein" at the Velaslavasay Panorama in New York. Get there!
Search: walk on the ocean
Why: Yesterday, I told Katrina I listened to Toad the Wet Sprocket (the album Coil) on the way to Disneyland. She didn't know who they are.
Me: You probably know some of their songs. They're very 90s.No, not like Buckcherry.
Katrina: What, like Buckcherry?
Answer: Hell right.
This song reminds me of that movie The Beach (2000).
The More You Know: Toad the Wet Sprocket's most popular song was "All I Want," which reached #15 in 1992. It reminds me of that show "California Dreams" that I used to watch when SBTB wasn't on.
Did their crappy band play it or something? Sometimes I wonder.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Search: sesame seed
Why: Yesterday I ate one of the sesame nuggets in Snack 'Ens, and today, Lori got the cheeseburger Vinylmation thing with a sesame seed bun head. I do not like sesame seeds.
The More You Know: Sesame seeds are thought to be the world's oldest condiment, dating back to at least 1600 B.C. In Arabian Nights, Ali Baba's magic words "Open, Sesame" ("Open, Simsim" in Arabic) reflect the way the seed pods burst open at maturity.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Search: honolulu to los angeles; tokyo to beijing
Why: In Reader's Digest Off Base:
Playing around with my new iTouch, I decided to get directions to my son's base from my home in Maryland. So I typed in "Wahaiwa, Hawaii." I got turn-by-turn directions until I hit the coast. Then I was told, "Kayak across the Pacific Ocean entering Hawaii."Answer: Hahah kayak, jet ski...
Source: Google Maps
The More You Know: Lemme know if you find any other Easter Eggs in this category. I also tried (and failed with):
- Jakarta to Mumbai
- Athens to Santorini
- Hamburg to Stockholm
- Glasgow to Reykjavik
- London to Reykjavik
- Brisbane to New Zealand
- Chile to Antarctica
- Havana to Miami
- Nassau to Miami
- Corner Brook to Sept-Îles
Friday, January 22, 2010
Why: Muffy posted "Four Fun Facts about Sloths" from boingboing, but it doesn't say how big they are!
Answer: 50-60 cm, aka 19.6-23.6 inches! That is not very big! The little babies are really teeny.
The More You Know: I learned all sorts of interesting sloth facts from that article. Here are a few:
- Sloths are related to anteaters and armadillos. Their family tree split from the rest of mammals 75-80 million years ago!
- They have the lowest body temperature of any mammal - between 86 and 93° F when active (which is barely ever) and even lower when resting!
- Eagles snatch them off of trees!
- Their fur has adapted to breed algae to camouflage them!
- They are wicked smaaht! In a study with a vine- and roped-based maze, sloths showed the same level of cognitive function as cats in a maze on the ground.
- There are 6 species: 4 three-toed and 2 two-toed! Two-toed sloths love grapes!
- Three-toed sloths eat almost nothing other than parts of the Cecropia tree, which is why it's hard to keep them in zoos!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Search: kevin mchale
Why: Tonight on "30 Rock":
JACK: [phone vibrates] It's from Nancy. She says she's in line behind the female Larry Bird. Oh god. There's a photo.Answer: A 6'10 basketball player from the 80s! Also a Celtic!
LIZ: Come on, how is Female Larry Bird holding hands with a guy? What am I doing wrong?
[Jack takes a photo of Liz]
LIZ: What's that for?
JACK: I'm telling Nancy that I'm with Female Kevin McHale.
The More You Know: Other Kevin McHale is that wheelchair kid on "Glee." I already blogged about him. Remember?
Search: butterscotch name origin
Why: Found some pudding in the cabinet! Pudding for everyone!
But is it Scottish? Made with scotch?
Answer: Uncertain! Many food historians connect it to Scotland, but none has any proof. Several unsubstantiated claims:
- The word was first recorded in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, where Samuel Parkinson began making it in 1817.
- The first known reference to it comes in F.K. Robinson's Glossary of Yorkshire Words (1855), where it is called "butterscot."
- he "scotch" part may actually be derived from "scorch" rather than Scotland.
- "It draws together all the lads and lasses... and the fun and the daffing that go on during the boiling, pulling, clipping, cooling, are worth the money." (Lol5000)
The More You Know: A 1929 recipe for Butterscotch Squares:
- 1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
- 2/3 corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Oil of lemon
Add butter and salt, and boil to 290 degrees F., or until it reaches the hard crack when tried in cold water.
Remove from fire, flavor with oil of lemon, and pour out between bars on slightly moistened slab. Mark the squares, and bread up when cold.
Search: "obviously you didn't want to stick around"
Why: I just SAW it.
Answer: "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash:
The More You Know: Kate Nash is 22. If you are wondering what other song you might have heard by her, it's probably "Foundations."
Search: thousand island
Why: Jeff said that in Utah, fries are served with "fry sauce," which is made of ketchup, mayonnaise, and sometimes pickles. To my knowledge, those are the ingredients in Thousand Island.
- Tabasco sauce
- Finely chopped vegetables, like pickles, onions, bell peppers, and green olives
- Chopped hard-boiled egg (optional)
The More You Know: Jeff would have me tell you that fry sauce tastes very little like Thousand Island, and that even the guy on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" - who expected the same thing - said so.
Also, In-N-Out spread is Thousand Island almost exactly. I don't like ketchup and I detest mayonnaise, which is probably why I don't go apeshit over In-N-Out the way other people do:
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Search: "i pray that something" dear john song
Why: I just saw it, doy.
Answer: "Set Fire to the Third Bar" by Snow Patrol. The female vocals are Martha Wainwright! Here it is plus lyrics!
Source: Yahoo! Answers
The More You Know: Martha & Rufus Wainwright's mother (and Loudon's ex-wife wife) Kate McGarrigle died yesterday. She had been suffering from clear cell sarcoma, a rare kind of cancer, for more than 3 years.
Search: manuka honey
Why: Amber says it's "extra good for you."
Answer: Well first, manuka is a plant that grows in New Zealand and southern Australia. It is also known as the "tea tree," but not the tea tree you are thinking of.
Manuka is known to be antifungal, and it has been used for decade as a disinfected. Manuka honey is also antibacterial and is used for healing:
- Stomach ulcers and related conditions
- Sore throats & colds
- Skin ulcers, wounds, boils
- Minor burns & pressure sores
- Infections & MRSA (superbug)
The More You Know: I love bees. Some facts:
- Honeybees pollinate 1/3 of the world's food. (Even if you don't eat a lot of plants, the animals you eat do.)
- Baby honeybees do not know how to make honey; they have to be taught.
- An average worker bee only makes about 1/12 tsp. of honey in her lifetime.
- A hive of bees must visit 1 million flowers to produce 1 lb. of honey.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Search: red carpet origin
Why: I mean at movie premieres and whatnot, not the kind of carpet that may or may not match the drapes.
Answer: It is in dispute. Of course!
At the end of the 5th Century play Agamemnon, Clytaemnestra tries to convince Agamemnon to walk across the red carpet, insisting that he deserves special recognition for his accomplishments at Troy. He doesn't want to offend the gods, but Clytie eventually convinces him.
The carpet takes him through the palace door which Clytemnestra closes behind him. It reopens some minutes later with Clytemnestra triumphantly holding an axe aloft as Agamemnon's body lies lifeless at her feet on the blood-saturated carpet.So the red carpet masks the blood. Get it?
The Indian palace of the Mughal Empire was made of red sandstone and featured inner gardens and courtyards. When royalty went on vacay or built military tent compounds, they recreated these effects with free-standing textiles and floral rugs. The red color highlighted the emperor's tent, and the luxurious carpets both provided comfort and reminded visitors of the power and wealth of their rulers.
In 1620-something, Emperor Jahangir went to visit his brother-in-law:
To celebrate the event, his brother-in-law carpeted the road between his house and the palace with gold brocades and rich velvets, so that the royal entourage would not have to touch the ground. Today we say "Roll out the red carpet" or "the red-carpet treatment" to indicate the conferring of honor and prestige.
In 1821, the people at Prospect Hill, SC, rolled out a real red carpet to the Waccamaw River for President James Monroe.
Passengers on the 20th Century Limited express train walked to and from the train on a plush red carpet that was rolled out in New York and Chicago.
Source: CinemaTreasures.org, Docudharma
The More You Know: Did you know they had a green carpet at the premiere of Shrek XII? That is so wacky.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Why: Kat got this awesome apron from Anthropologie, which got me thinking about my own Anthropologie items of yore. I had this fun green seersucker skirt that was kind of deconstructed... I wonder if it's still at my parents' house.
Answer: It comes from Hindi sīrsakar, from the Person words shir o shekar, "milk and sugar." This might be due to the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth surface of milk and bumpy texture of sugar.
In the 6th century the Persians borrowed not only the word for sugar from India but sugar itself. During and after Tamerlane's invasion of India in the late 14th century, opportunities for borrowing Persian things and words such as shīroshakar were widespread, since Tamerlane incorporated Persia as well as India into his empire. It then remained for the English to borrow from an Indian language the material and its name seersucker (first recorded in 1722 in the form Sea Sucker) during the 18th century, when the East India Company and England were moving toward imperial supremacy in India.Wikipedia, Answers.com
The More You Know: There is an annual event called Seersucker Thursday wherein US Senators wear the fabric to Congress, usually on the 2nd or 3rd Thursday in June. The tradition was started by Senator Trent Lott in 1996 to "bring a little Southern charm to the Capitol"and remind the Senate of how Senators dressed before the advent of air conditioning in the 1950s.
Search: cashew tree
Why: On Farmville, a cashew tree looks like this. Those things don't look like cashews:
Do you see it?
Source: Google Images
The More You Know: The more I know indeed! I just learned the crap out of something. "Cashew" comes from the Tupi name acajú.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Search: "i'm just a little bit caught in the middle"
Why: I just saw that trailer. I think it was on another commercial a while ago.
Answer: "The Show" by Australian singer Lenka!
Source: Metro Lyrics
The More You Know: It was also in an Old Navy commercial! The lyrics go:
I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go, can't do it alone
I've tried and I don't know why
I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out, it's bringing me down
I know I've got to let it go and just enjoy the show
Search: how big is the moon
Why: I am watching Moon (2009). The guy has been on the moon for 3 years, but he says he hasn't driven his little rover thing out far enough to where some towers are. Since the moon doesn't rotate, it seems like the towers would have to be relatively close... relatively.
Answer: 2,159 miles in diameter! That doesn't seem very big at all, does it? For comparison, it is about 2,200 miles between Cincinnati and Los Angeles. That drive would take about 35 hours:
- Is about 4 times (27%) smaller than the Earth (which is 7,901 - 7,926 miles in diameter, depending on where you measure)
- Has a circumference of 6,790 miles
- Has a volume of 49 times less than the Earth
- Could fit inside the Earth more than 49 times
- Has about 81 times less mass than the Earth
Source: NASA Lunar Science for Kids, Science Fact Finder
The More You Know: So is Sam Rockwell getting an Oscar yet or what? Sheez.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Search: pine marten
Why: In The Amber Spyglass:
Pantalaimon often draped his pine-marten form over the mock battlements on the corner facing south... He was lying on top of the stone parapet, lazily grooming his red gold fur.Answer: Omg, another kitty puppy. It is the size of a domestic housecat:
The More You Know: The marten is a member of the Mustelidae family, which includes otters! badgers! wolverines! weasels! stoats! ermines! polecats! minks! and ferrets!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Search: xander crews; frisky dingo stan; archer cartoon; lord felchley; lord feltchley; hooker
Why: "Archer" premiered tonight on FX (except not really - there was a sneak peak in September...).
Xander Crews -> Sterling Archer
The More You Know: Haha Wikipedia says (about "Archer"):
Artistically, the series was designed to be realistic and used photos of its cast as the basis of their specific character.Lol:
H. Jon Benjamin, aka Ben Katz, Coach McGuirk, Satan, and Can of Vegetables. Boosh.)