Author Archives: achouston

Journey in Northern Light


Just a quick add-on to yesterday’s mention of the summer solstice. Check out this beautiful time-lapse sequence of  The Arctic Light by TSO Photography.  ‘The Arctic Light’ is the name given by the photographer to the time period about 2-4 weeks … Continue reading

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Happy Summer Solstice, NoHem!


Today is the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere — a consequence of the geometry of the sphere-with-a-tilted-axis that we call home in our solar system.  Today the sun will reach its highest point in the sky at (solar) noon, … Continue reading

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Reading the Signs


If you examine the wording on cautionary road signs, you’ll realize they aren’t wholly consistent.  Yet as native speakers of English (or with working fluency of English) we usually have no trouble interpreting the intended meaning.  The basic semantic task … Continue reading

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What are you searching for?


There’s a lot of talk these days about the limits of current search technology, of the fact that people don’t want to scan pages of blue links anymore. The new goal, as evidenced by the work of legions of energetic … Continue reading

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Nutty Nomenclature


Have you ever wondered why walnuts have surfaces with ridges and grooves whereas almost all other nuts are smooth? Pecans have rows of ridges, but hazel nuts, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, macademia nuts and pistachios are all smooth, even though … Continue reading

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Vamp 17: A Sudden Request


It’s Saturday night and Zaira feels conflicted. She has successfully refrained from calling Sandor on his new Android cell phone, even though she’s been brooding over numerous scenarios of how he might be caught off guard, how he unknowingly (or … Continue reading

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Vamp 16: A Phone Call


Dean!? With her heart pounding, Sam quickly locates the story online and reads more. Passers-by were horrified at the sudden fall of a man onto the street from a midtown Manhattan residential building. Police have taped off the block while … Continue reading

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Word Jumbles #10


POLLOLIP SLITNEC THIPRUM CORTAPI ULECTIC Solutions posted tomorrow on Answers

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Bootstraps


The word bootstrap is pretty common nowadays and shows up mostly as a verb. It is used frequently in the context of Internet and technology enterprises and refers to the process of getting things done, built, or advanced without much … Continue reading

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Gates


The word gate is a good old English word, the form being geat in Old English (plural geatu) and whose meaning was ‘an opening or entrance’.  A watergate (from the 15th century) is a channel for water; the first element … Continue reading

Posted in Word Formation, Word Usage | Tagged , , | 3 Comments