The English language is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases spreading among us like an infection - we hear things, then we say those things. The problem is that we don't always bother to wonder if we should. Because of that, the original meaning of some demeaning and hateful expressions get lost in time. Here are some widely used examples.
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When you think of Valentine's Day you probably think of flowers, chocolates, and notes sealed with a kiss - not whipping women with dead animals or martyrdom. But it turns out this sweet and loving commercial holiday has its roots in pagan rituals and good old-fashioned Christian rebranding. Oh, and selling you cards.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Ever wondered how horses go from being wild, free-spirited animals to people's most faithful travel companion? Grab your lasso, put on your cowboy hat, and get ready to become a horse whisperer. I mean, you'll probably never need to tame your own horse, but if you did, this is how the masters do it.
Some people got a great high school education. But some of us were sent to an evangelical Christian school, where we learned that evolution is a lie, Columbus was a cool dude, and Catholics are faking it. For us, and anyone else who suspects their education could use a revisionist refresh, there's the free YouTube channel Crash Course.
In the 16th Century, over the course of five years, almost 80% of the Aztec population were wiped out due to an unknown disease that burnt through their villages, causing high fevers, bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes and eventually lead to death. Without understanding the epidemic, the Aztecs named the phenomenon 'cocoliztli', their native word for 'pestilence'.
Scientists have pondered the potential cause of the cocoliztli epidemic for years, but only recently has new research uncovered what may have caused it.
There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Youtuber Logan Paul and his childish antics while visiting the beautiful country of Japan. Well, if you were unaware, there's a way you should and shouldn't act when you're visiting unfamiliar places. The Japanese have known these rules for hundreds of years.
Unlike actors and Ashton Kutcher, cartoon characters can't decide what products or ideologies they endorse in their off-time. Snoopy has no say in whether he sells MetLife. The Ninja Turtles most definitely get high -- they are pizza-eating sword collectors named after artists -- but they have to warn kids off drugs anyway.
Davy Crockett is an American folk hero of mythic proportions, and was greatly popularised during the '50s and '60s thanks to Disney's TV miniseries and major motion pictures. But Crockett was a very real person in history, and he had a lot of wisdom to share.
Today's kids have thousands of apps and educational programmes that tell them how to eat healthily. When I was growing up, we learned the Food Pyramid. We categorised grub into four food groups and that was pretty much it. But look back a bit farther, and dietary advice gets a little weirder: in the early 1950s, there were seven food groups, and one was just for butter.
I've got nothing against Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History," but it seems to eat up all the publicity for history podcasts. That's a shame, because the podcast format is a fantastic way to dive into a thirty-hour history of the French Revolution, or snack on a 12-minute account of how Warren G. Harding, betrayed by his corrupt Cabinet, publicly projected all his feelings onto his dog Laddie Boy.
Christopher Nolan's relentless World War II drama Dunkirk< is in theatres this weekend, telling a fictional story of the very real British defeat against Nazi Germany in France and subsequent retreat from Europe at the start of the war. Here's the history behind what you see, and what you don't see in Dunkirk.
Walk into your data centre or through your office and you’ll see the fruits of the last 75 years or so of computing. But a recent article at The Atlantic looks back at the real origin of computing: mathematical logic. And it harks back all the way to Aristotle. It’s an interesting read, particularly, dare I say it, for younger IT professionals. Understanding history is a great way to understand why some trends keep coming back.
When you think of St Patrick's Day, you probably think of green beer, shot glass necklaces that say "Kiss Me I'm Irish", and everybody talking about how Irish they suddenly are. That's all well and good, but I bet you don't know much about the holiday's origins, or the saint it celebrates. Well, now that you've taken off that stupid hat and stopped talking like a leprechaun for a second, it's time to educate yourself a smidge.