17 Jan 2022

As Merry As A Cricket

Q. In his 1653 Complete Herbal, botanist Nicholas Culpeper wrote: ‘the decoction of the thistle in wine being drank, expels superfluous melancholy out of the body, and makes a man as merry as a cricket.’ ‘As merry as a cricket’. That’s not something one hears much in 2022. What are

13 Jan 2022

A Little Movie Lightning

Q. Between pandemic lockdowns and self-seeding streaming channels, movie grosses have been much in the news. Which movies have the top grosses of all time? . A. Before revealing the results from IMDb Pro’s Box Office Mojo, let’s see how many of these top grossing movies we can identify from

10 Jan 2022

All Hail The National Unicorn

Q. Which country chose the unicorn as their national animal? And how did that come to be? . A. Hint: In the historically rooted language of the area, the unicorn is known as: aon-adharcach. . Gustave Moreau. Les Licornes. 1887 . ‘Aon-adharcach’ is the Gaelic word for unicorn. The mythical

06 Jan 2022

Rx Chocolate

Q. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Professor RJ Lupin first offers Harry a therapeutic slab of chocolate to revive our young wizard after a traumatic encounter with train-storming dementors. ‘A loud snap made them all jump. Professor Lupin was breaking an enormous slab of chocolate into pieces.

03 Jan 2022

2021 Most Annoying Words

Q. Are there any words that set your ears ablaze – at work, in your home life? Which words have people found particularly off-putting over the last year? . A. The Atlantic ran a poll with its readers and – after a series of X versus Y buzzword showdowns –

31 Dec 2021

Walk The Block For 2022

Q. With the 2021 we’ve had – especially on the heels of  2020 – we’ll be breaking out the New Year’s Eve good luck charms to usher in a better 2022. Any  global rituals that seem particularly relevant? . A. Given the lockdowns and limited travel of the last two

30 Dec 2021

Wintry Words

Q. Here in B.C., we are breaking ❄️ temperature records all over the place, and looking at unusually high mounds of snow. What are some forgotten or little used words related to winter, snow, and cold? . A. Algid Feeling cold or chilly Apricity That wonderful moment when the sun

27 Dec 2021

These Holiday Candies Are The Worst

Q. “Go on! Have one.” You are the surprise recipient of neighbourhood candy. Now, the gift-giver is waiting for you to tuck in and eat a couple. What type of holiday candy would you be most horrified to discover inside this meticulously wrapped box? How do your candy peeves compare

25 Dec 2021

Favourite Christmas Songs

Q. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! What are your go-to Christmas carols or songs?  Which holiday songs are most broadly favoured? . A. Classic FM has just wrapped up their 2021 Nation’s Favourite Carol poll and the winner, once again, is: O Holy Night. Classic FM’s 2021 Favourite Carol

23 Dec 2021

Due For A Purple Patch

Q. What are some English idioms that reflect the hope that things just have to get better… at some point.   A. Due for a purple patch A purple patch is a sustained period of good luck and serious success. The expression stems back to Imperial Rome, where only emperors