As a kid, I watched a ton of AMC, back in the pre-”Mad Men” and -”Walking Dead” days when the channel only played old movies, and was commercial-free to boot. And, oh, how I hated Bette Davis because whenever one of her movies was on, that meant it was probably a drama about dramatic adult things, and all my 10-year-old self wanted was some Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis slapstick or a happy-go-lucky Technicolor musical. However, my kid self likely would’ve been into Davis’ “Now, Voyager“because I was and still am a sucker for a magical makeover movie…
Vladimir I is often credited with bringing Christianity to Russia, though he actually embraced paganism first as Grand Prince of Kievan Rus. Wishing to unite Russia under one religion, Vladimir worked his way through several religions before changing the spiritual path of his country forever.
Our listener mail today is from our actual mailbag that contains things written on paper. One is from Chaplain Rick, and another is from Andrew, and a third is from Christina, who tells us some cool information about Bran Castle.
Not all “friends with benefits” (heretofore referred to as FWB) relationships are made equally — as one might expect when you “add sex and stir,” as some researchers have framed the 21st-century not-so-romantic setup. A cornerstone of the millennial generation’s “hookup culture,” FWB relationships may come off as straightforward sex-minus-dating arrangements, but as anyone who’s even flirted with FWBs knows, things can get complicated fast given how humans aren’t so keenly evolved toward cleanly separating sex with a consistent partner from feelings toward said consistent partner.
To better understand the complexities within FWBs, a 2011 study out of the University of Arizona identified seven (SEVEN!) varieties of FWB relationships…
Humans have pretty low emotional pain tolerances, and research has shown that people instinctively seek out distractions away from sources of whatever unpleasantness ails, hence the indefatigable sales of alcohol and ice cream. When trouble arises in interpersonal relationships, the heartbroken also often spend time wallowing in the negativity, perhaps playing Bon Iver’s “For Emma” on repeat as though intentionally keeping the waterworks faucet turned up to full blast (not that I’ve ever done anything like that ever…).
We hadn’t been working on the podcast long when listener Karissa asked us to talk about India’s Karni Mata temple, which is home to 20,000 rats. I wasn’t expecting “rat temple” to take us to the legend of a goddess’ fight against a buffalo demon, but it did. I also wasn’t expecting it to touch on chaste marriages and medieval mysticism, which we’ve talked about before in our episode on Margery Kempe. Multiple surprises for me in this episode. It’s about a whole lot more than rats.
…In addition to finding out that the FDA has devised a mayonnaise checklist, which is one of the greatest artifacts of bureaucracy mine eyes have ever beheld, I also learned that mayo has been around since the 1700s. Paula Deen would’ve been right at home in the 18th century, y’all! AP reporter Mae Anderson wrote that it “originated in France…when a chef seeking to make a creamy sauce combined oil and egg.”
In April, Washington officially struck the word “penmanship” from any state statutes and replaced it with “handwriting” in an effort to use only gender-neutral language. To me, it’s funny that “penmanship” is a male-gendered noun since there’s a common assumption that women have neater handwriting than men. A lefty lady with chicken scratch-screwing handwriting, I’ve been particularly aware of that stereotype as I’ve never much fit the mold…
Cixi started out as one of Emperor Xianfeng’s many concubines, but she wound up ruling China from behind a screen for more than 45 years. Her decisions toward the end were factors in the eventual collapse of the Qing dynasty. But in spite of her long and notorious rein, much of what we know about her boils down to rumor and gossip.
Our listener mail today is a listener request and PSA from Lily Ann, reminding us of the importance of giving blood (or of giving in some other way, if you cannot give blood).
Episode link: China’s Empress Dowager Cixi
In a New York Times Room for Debate segment on cursive in the classroom, University of Southern California education professor Morgan Polikoff argued that since few adults regularly employ it and that most workplace communication is conducted via keyboard, teaching penmanship only gobbles up valuable classroom minutes. Speaking to NPR, a New Jersey school principal said bluntly, “It’s just that with all the state mandates, we don’t have time.” Most kids are board with abandoning cursive as well, not surprisingly; in reporting on public schools’ collective move away from cursive, The Wall Street Journal cited a Scholastic survey, which found that 79 percent of middle schoolers polled dislike the fancy handwriting.
When news broke that researchers had found actual physical evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, it seemed like just about everyone in the Internet sent us the link. Along with all those links, we got a hefty chunk of requests for an episode. So here it is.
Recent Postings by Category
- Thank You and Best Wishes to Marshall Brain
- Contest – Design a $300 house and win $25,000
- How the Philtrum works – the place under your nose where your face comes together
The Coolest Stuff on the Planet
- Why can a 5 foot 8 inch man dunk a basketball on a 10 foot rim while some people of taller stature can’t?
- What happens to our sun once it runs out of fuel?
- How do we know the age of the universe?
Stuff Mom Never Told You
- Hollywood’s First Magical Makeover Movie
- 7 Types of ‘Friends with Benefits’ Relationships
- How Sad Breakup Songs Make Us Feel Better
Stuff to Blow Your Mind
- Blow Your Mind: Slay Your Paper Tigers
- Space Religion: Cao Dai and the 72 Inhabited Exoplanets
- Blow the Mind: Objects of Love
Stuff You Should Know
- “In The Neighborhood” by Jon Stewart Mosman
- “Thanatos” by Christopher Vincola
- “Frame Story” by Adam Pracht
The Stuff of Genius
- Show Notes: Heart-stopping Last Laps of Racing
- Never say Never: Jaguar XJ220 Spotted in the Wild!
- What’s your pick for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pace car?
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 152: Final Episodes
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 151: Mailbag!
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 150: Barbie!
Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Stuff to Change the World
- Who will own the Arctic?
- Obesity: The New Global Crisis
- Bill Gates Makes For A Pretty Decent Cartoon