27 Sep 2023

Baby Paris Meet Baby Vienna

Q. What to name your child: that’s no small decision for a parent. And how interesting when we choose the name of a city or country for our progeny. It would be intriguing to learn more about the ‘whys’. Even those of us who just like the sound of the

26 Sep 2023

Family Road Trip Squabbles

Q. The last family road-trip? Nothing but ear-to-ear smiles. and spread-eagle jumps into roadside lakes . Well, at least if you believe the much-liked photos. But, almost anyone who has been on a long family road trip knows that there will be squabbles. What are families most likely to bicker

26 Sep 2023

Terrifying Town Names

Q. Fiction has brought us all kinds of alarming place names. Take C.S. Lewis who, in Chronicles of Narnia, invited us to: Burnt Island, Deathwater Island, Dragon Island .. Back on the workaday end of the wardrobe, what are some alarming town names on our maps? . A. Alligator Pond,

25 Sep 2023

Euphonious or Horrisonous?

Q. What are some lesser used or unusual words relating to sound? . A. Incoming. You’ll note that, for some of the words below, I’ve only included their sound-related meanings. Asperity Rough sound. Harsh tone. Bombilation A thrumming, humming, endlessly buzzing sound. Borborygmus A rumbling of the intestines as gas

22 Sep 2023

A Little Bitter

Q. Amaretto – ‘a little bitter’ – is the almond-soaked liqueur you might know from the Amaretto Sour, The Godfather, Blueberry Tea. We know it’s a deeply historic potion with Italian roots, but who can claim inventor credits? . A.  With a name like ‘a little bitter’ are we surprised

19 Sep 2023

Great Hands Painting What?

Q. Those of us who can’t art for beans are most strategic when forced invited to draw or paint. ‘Hmm. What will it be this time? A swirly ‘abstract’ or a circle flower with five petals?’ But what of those gifted visual artists who can create all manner of delights? How

14 Sep 2023

A Candlestick, A Dagger + A Decent Bottle Of Poison

Q. The mystery genre is as popular as ever – top 3 in best-sellers for centuries. As the perennial favourite Agatha Christie said: “Give me a decent bottle of poison, and I’ll construct the perfect crime.” Amidst shelves and shelves of cryptonyms and creepholes, which detectives, books and authors have

11 Sep 2023

Movie Music Hall Of Fame 2023

Q. Speaking of broad music polls, how did movie music scores stack up in 2023? . A. In August of 2023, Classic FM reported out on their poll of 10,000 listeners around their favourite movie scores. Coming in at #1? Let’s just say: ‘Please, Mr. Gandalf, sir, don’t hurt me.

11 Sep 2023

Rachmaninov’s Hard-Earned Wins

Q. Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) is one of our favourite composers. And, as you’ll see below, his music often features in ‘most loved composer and classical music’ charts. But, was this Semyonovo-born composer always so beloved? . A. In April of 2023, Classic FM reported out on their annual ‘Classic FM

08 Sep 2023

Happy Fall Favourites

Q. Fall 2023 doesn’t arrive until September 22/23rd, depending on your time zone. But, for many of us, the crisp of the season is already in the air. What do you like best about Fall? How do your likes stack up against the list below? . A. One Poll asked