29 Dec 2022

Powdered Wigs

Q. We’ve all seen the bewigged portraits – from Bach to Mozart, Louis IV to Marie Antoinette. The wigs make for some seriously fabulous head drama, but why did those who could afford perukes wear them? And what was in that powder? . A. After 17th Century aristocrats popularized mountainous

27 Dec 2022

Love It Or Hate It Foods

Q. We’ve seen the great divide around certain candies. Candy corn, holiday peeps, nougat – were you a ‘love’ or a ‘hate’ on those? What are some other foods that tend to divide us? . A. Be it the texture, the smell, the childhood memories, or the quality of the taste

25 Dec 2022

The Art Of Christmas

Q. Merry Christmas! What are some striking paintings associated with Christmas? . A. Jean Hey. The Annunciation. 1490-05 . Leonardo da Vinci. Annunciation. 1472 . Philippe de Champaigne. The Dream of St. Joseph. 1642-43 . José Campeche y Jordán. La Natividad. 1799 . Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. The Nativity with Saints. 1514

23 Dec 2022

Wintry Words

Q. Here in B.C. – as in much of the world –  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

20 Dec 2022

Snow On Snow On Snow

Q. As Google will tell many across North America: today is ‘Go Carolling’ (or if you’re in the U.S.: ‘Go Caroling’) Day. For those who a) celebrate Christmas, and b) feel a song coming on –  will you carol in or outside? If you’re like many of us in Canada

16 Dec 2022

Canada’s Whats, Whys + Hows. 2022

Q. As ever, Google offers a fascinating peek into our national preoccupations. To what questions were Canadians seeking answers in 2022? . A. According to the latest Google Trends research, Canadians in 2022 were asking.. What Is.. i. Monkeypox ii. NATO iii. RSV iv. Wordle v. NFT vi. Aphasia vii.

01 Dec 2022

A Whiff Of Nostalgia

Q. Are there any scents which quickly plunk you back in your childhood? . A. One Poll asked this question of 2,000 adults in the UK. Do any of their answers line up with yours? Top 20 Smells That Remind Us Of Our Childhoods i. Fresh-cut grass ii. Specific home-cooked

21 Nov 2022

Horror House Patents

Q. The annals of patent history hold creations that have made our day to day lives so much easier – kettles, vacuums, washing machines. Hidden in the depths are wild ideas that would have made home life – and sleepovers –  a lot more creepy than cozy. Examples…? . A.

16 Nov 2022

Lurid Lockets

Q. “What I want from you is your voice.” Ursula the savage Sea Witch is bargaining with Disney’s Ariel. As collateral for temporarily turning Ariel’s tail into human legs, Ursula will seize The Little Mermaid’s ethereal voice. Ariel clutches her neck while Ursula elaborates. “No more talking, singing, zip.” To

06 Nov 2022

Ew. This Food Tastes …

Q. Just how many words can fussy/displeased diners use to describe what’s on their plates? . A. A great many, as it turns out. A sampling … Acrid An overwhelmingly unpleasant, strong taste. Amaroidal Bitter. Blinky Going sour. Used to describe milk that’s on its way off. Brackish A bit