Wonder on the Web
For the Word Nerds
If you were taken with this issue’s cover story (or if you—like us—have a penchant for grammar and usage), you might be a word nerd. Have we got a show for you: A Way With Words, a podcast in which two etymologists discuss developments in language and pop culture, play word puzzles, and field questions from listeners about the history of words and phrases. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about regional English dialects—with the added delight of hearing them warmly answer the phone, “Hello, you have A Way With Words!”
Navigating the 13th Century
And now for a total immersion into the 13th-century technology that developed cartography. What’s most amazing is the precision of its product: “so accurate that ships today could navigate with it.”
A couple of issues back, our editor offered reflections on how we respond to the horrid acts of a group like ISIS. What feels almost impossible is to extend grace to the perpetrators of this kind of evil. Hear the gospel from a 10-year-old Iraqi refugee whose family fed ISIS violence:
Asked about her feelings toward those who drove her from her home, Myriam wondered why they did this. Then she said: “I will only ask God to forgive them. Why should they be killed?”
Scroll down to watch the whole video. From the mouths of babes . . .
Smell that Rain?
Scientists at MIT have revealed how the distinctive smell of a rainstorm, petrichor, works. And in this slo-mo video, you can watch the whole thing go down.
Is Your Lexicon On Fleek?
Speaking of our God-given creativity with language—if you pride yourself in being up on the new slang, here’s a quiz from The New York Times that’ll show your true colors.
- Editors’ Note
Issue 20: Language, Ants, and Julian of Norwich
- O for 7,000+ Tongues to Meep
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word birthed many more. /
- A Bizarre and Mighty Civilization
And it’s made by leafcutter ants. /
- Morning Songs in the Night
God sings the same chorus over and over—even during the blackest of plagues. /
- Naming the Animals
‘Until he named the cow cow, no one slept standing up’ /