In 1914, Richard Platz, a 20-year-old son of a baker, was hiking when he threw a message in a bottle into the Baltic Sea. Little did he know that it would take over a century before anyone would read his message. Earlier this year, a fisherman named Konrad Fischer pulled the beer bottle out of the ocean.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is most famous for his leadership during the American Civil war, his decision to free the slaves in 1863, and his eventual assassination. What gets less attention is his hat. Lincoln was already a giant at 193 cm. During his time, the average height was 172 cm, so he didn’t need any help standing out from the crowd. Despite his stature, he chose to wear a high top hat.
On Jan 6, 1995, McArthur Wheeler boldly robbed two banks in broad daylight with no disguise. According to an article in a local newspaper, “At 5 feet 6 inches and about 270 pounds, bank robbery suspect McArthur Wheeler isn’t the type of person who fades into the woodwork.” He made no attempts to hide his identity and even looked directly into the security camera and smiled. By 11:00 at night, his picture was all over the news, leading an informant to identify Wheeler to the police. Within an hour, he was in jail. As he was being arrested, the shocked Wheeler said, “But I wore the juice!”
If you ever thought that you were too old to learn a language or some other skill, you probably never heard the remarkable story of Kimani Maruge. Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Kimani first entered elementary school when he was 84-years-old. In Kenya, where Kimani resided, elementary school wasn’t available to all. Parents had to pay school fees for the privilege of enrolling their children. While the tuition might seem modest to a lot of us today, they put school out of reach for a lot of families in Kenya, including the Maruges.
The word “time” is the most common noun in the English language, so it’s no wonder that there are so many idioms related to time. Keeping time is an idiom that means measuring time. The history of keeping time dates back to ancient Egypt. They used tall standing beams called obelisks to measure the time it took the sun to move across the sky. Watching the moving shadow of an obelisk was used by cultures all over the world to tell time. Later, people used burning incense or candles, sand in an hourglass, and even water to keep time. In 1685, a man named Christiaan Huygens invented the world’s first pendulum clock that used a swinging weight to measure time.
According to research on language and culture, your health and even your finances are related to the language you speak. Linguists have long known that language can directly influence your perception of the world. For example, in the Kook Thaayorre language, there are no words for left and right. There is no way to explain where something is without using the words north, south, east, and west. Because of this, these people have an innate understanding of which way is north at all times. In some languages, there aren’t different words for blue and green. Speakers of these languages have trouble distinguishing between the two colors.
As the year winds down, people around the world resolve to make changes in their lives. This New Year’s resolution tradition is more than 4,000 years old and dates back to the Babylonians, who resolved to pay old debts and return borrowed things at the end of the year. Today, people all over the world still make New Year’s resolutions. A few years back, Google created a website recording peoples’ New Year’s resolutions from different countries.
Has anyone ever told you, you could stand to lose some weight? Or maybe people have told you you’re as thin as a rail. Either way, it might not just be other people judging you on your looks. Prairie dogs have a complex language, and they are not only talking about people, but also calling them fat, skinny, tall, or short.